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
substances such 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.
Source: Excerpted from the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) website