(StatePoint) Dietary supplements help people get the nutrients they need to thrive, and 77 percent of Americans take them, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). However, experts say that in order to make smart choices down the line, it is necessary to understand changes being made to product labels.
“The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all dietary supplement products feature updated labeling by January 2021 to reflect the evolution of the American diet, as well as advancements in nutrition science,” says Brian Wommack, senior vice president of communications at CRN. “Larger manufacturers will comply by January 2020, and many other manufacturers will be introducing the new labels early, so it’s smart for everyone to get familiar with the updates now.”
Eighty-two percent of Americans agree that the information on the label helps them make purchasing decisions, and being label wise, according to Wommack, means being committed to reading product labels, having knowledge of what information is featured and why, and making smart, well-informed purchasing decisions.
“While some of the changes to the label are more obvious than others, all of them are important to understand,” says Wommack.
To help you understand the transition, CRN has identified some of the noticeable aspects of the new Supplement Facts label:
• New Daily Values (DVs) will reflect the latest nutrition science and changes in American diets.
• Vitamins A, D, and E will change from amounts in International Units (IU), to the more common measures of milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg).
• Folic acid, an important nutrient before and during pregnancy, will be listed as folate and measured in micrograms of dietary folate equivalents (DFEs).
• If sugar is added to the product, you will see the amount and percent DV.
To learn more about the coming changes, as well as for more tips and advice on reading supplement labels, visit BeLabelWise.org or follow the conversation at #labelwise.
“We all have unique nutritional needs. So, talk with your healthcare practitioner to understand how these label changes might impact you,” says Wommack.
Photo Credit: (c) Courtney Hale / iStock