Drug Free Sport Resource Center

Dietary Supplement Resources

Have you ever had questions about a dietary supplement product that you or someone else was taking?  Do you know what a dietary supplement is?  Are you looking for an edge to get better?  Are you looking for that “Magic bullet”?

Definition of a Dietary Supplement:

Congress defined the term "dietary supplement" in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement the diet. The "dietary ingredients" in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and such substances as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. They can also be in other forms, such as a bar, but if they are, information on their label must not represent the product as a conventional food or a sole item of a meal or diet. Whatever their form may be, DSHEA places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of "foods," not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement.

“Dietary Supplement” - U.S. Food and Drug Administration - March 25th, 2008.

Do you have these types of questions?

  • What is a dietary Supplement?
  • Are dietary supplements different from foods and drugs?
  • What claims can manufacturers make for dietary supplements and drugs?
  • How does FDA regulate dietary supplements?
  • What information is required on a dietary supplement label?
  • Does a label indicate the quality of a dietary supplement product?
  • Are dietary supplements standardized?
  • What methods are used to evaluate the health benefits and safety of a dietary supplement?

Drug Free Sport's Resource Exchange CenterGet Answers in the REC

Drug Free Sport's Resource Exchange Center (REC) is a subscription-based service that exists to provide up-to-date, confidential information, interactive tools and educational materials on dietary supplements to empower athletes to make healthy and responsible decisions.

REC membership grants you access to a comprehensive database of information on the use of dietary supplements in sports, and how they relate to you. The REC also provides information on the following:

  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Ergonomic Aids:  EPO, Diuretics, Central Nervous System stimulants
  • Amphetamines
  • Recreational and Street Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs

Important Note: Dietary supplements that are sold over the counter and through the internet are under-regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA).  Therefore, we cannot guarantee the product’s purity or safety.  Impure supplements can cause a positive drug test under most drug testing programs.  Athletes are advised that the use of dietary supplements is at the user’s own risk.  The list of ingredients and claims made by a manufacturer are not necessarily backed up by reliable, scientific research.  The REC DOES NOT recommend the use of any dietary supplement, please direct all dietary supplement questions to the REC.

If you are an athlete, parent, coach, athletic trainer or sports program administrator looking for more information on dietary supplements or other performance-enhancing drugs, click here to learn about REC membership.



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