Dietary supplements, allies in the nutrition of the Latin American region

Consumer needs have changed drastically due to the problems brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Category of Food suplements has grown significantly in Latin America, as is the case with countries such as Colombia, Peru, Chile or Brazil, the consumption of these products reaches more than 47% of the population.

Despite the way they have positively penetrated the population, there is still a big obstacle to be faced in another segment of the population, namely misinformation.

Dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the usual diet consumers and represent an ally in diet. In the Latin American region, their consumption is consolidated, so it is normal that there are many doubts related to this type of product.

The problem of misinformation about dietary supplements

However, the lack of knowledge and scientific and truthful information about supplements is a major challenge facing the industry, and with that in mind Latin American Alliance for Responsible Nutrition (ALANUR)makes constant efforts to demystify and provide reliable information to authorities, the scientific community and consumers.

In view of this, informing the population is crucial so that they not only learn more about the category, but also identify it food suplements and distinguish them from other types of products without scientific support.

During the webinar: “Myths and reality of dietary supplements in Latin America”Hugo Palafox, coordinator of scientific and regulatory affairs at ALANUR, explained the following: “Disinformation is very dangerous. Allowing the circulation of false information about them can put the population at risk, promoting appropriate information is essential so that people can recognize dietary supplements and distinguish them from other types of products without scientific support and often outside normative from every country, i.e. miraculous products.”

Myths and reality

The Latin American Alliance for Responsible Nutrition has raised some points to demystify myths about dietary supplements based on information extracted from scientific documents.

1. Dietary supplements are medicines

  • BRIBE: These are products that are sold in capsules, pills or powder solutions, like medicines, and that address specific needs of people, so they can be considered over-the-counter dietary medicines.
  • REALITY: This idea stems from the fact that both are sold oral pharmaceutical presentationsthat is, in the form of capsules, tablets, powder, etc. However, the purpose of using each of them is completely different.

2. They can only be recommended by a health professional

  • BRIBE: Only health professionals know how to recognize people’s needs and therefore we need their prescription to be able to consume nutritional supplements.
  • REALITY: Although expert opinion will always be important for making the best decisions about our diet; Thanks to the fact that food supplements are freely available due to their nutritional nature and very low risk, their permission for consumption by healthy people is not required.

3. No one monitors or controls the sale of nutritional supplements

  • BRIBE: Anyone can sell capsules or powders, they are not regulated by their own regulation and therefore pose a danger to the consumer.
  • REALITY: Each country has specialized organizations that closely monitor nutritional supplements on the market. There is a robust regulatory structure that oversees and regulates every aspect of a dietary supplement, from its ingredients, quality and labeling to even advertising.

You may also be interested in: Rule 251 and Dietary Supplements

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