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October 19, 2011

Dietary Supplements and Regulation—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Communication Studies, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina (

JAMA. 2011;306(15):1657-1658. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1495

In Reply: Concerning the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements, the approach discussed by Dr Williams appears to move in the right direction, especially if it allows individuals to consult a credible Web site for unbiased information. Yet it also places a great deal of confidence in the willingness of consumers to take that initiative and to draw distinctions between products that meet USP-NF standards and products that do not. As I noted in the Commentary, consumers often have difficulty interpreting structure and function claims on product labels, and I suspect most would not know what the USP-NF seal actually signifies. Additionally, those who purchase bodybuilding supplements in particular may seek products that have not been rigorously inspected, as such products are more likely to contain “bonus” ingredients such as anabolic steroids.

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