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Food additives, food, plants or other things, are increasing in France. Intended for slimming, anti-stress, recovery or intended for athletes, these products are often perceived as harmless and can, in some cases, expose the person who trade in health risks. Who eats them? Are they important for some people? How can we improve our health?
What are dietary supplements? By dietary supplement is meant “diet whose purpose is to supplement normal and artificial food sources of nutrients or other substances that have a nutritional or physiological effect, one or a combination…” (Guidelines 2002 /46/EC). of the European Parliament, transferred by n°2006-352 of March 20, 2006).
There are many nutritional supplements, based on plants, vitamins and minerals, or other ingredients for nutritional and physical purposes (melatonin, glucosamine, etc.). They are sold in the form of doses such as capsules, lozenges, tablets, tablets, sachets of powder or even in the form of liquid preparations (ampoules, bottles and droppers).
These supplements are shown as products that help improve the nutrition of the dieters, help them lose weight, face the cold, digest well, have beautiful hair, to reduce the problems of pregnancy or menopause, etc. How to eat food supplements in France?
In recent years, the French eat more often. The 2nd National Individual Food Consumption Study (Inca) carried out in 2006-2007 collected, for the first time in Chile France, information on the consumption of food supplements adults and children 3 years and older.
The results of Inca 3 conducted in 2014-2015 show that the consumption of food supplements and nutritional supplements doubled between the two studies, both among children aged 3 to 17 and among adults. According to the Inca 3 study, 22% of adults consume food supplements and 14% of children consume them. Based on a broad definition including food source drugs; these rates are 29% and 19% respectively. The length of time to take nutritional supplements is an average of 4 and a half months in adults and 2 and a half months in children, but varies from one person to another. This testifies to the great difference in behavior regarding these products. Among adults, the worst consumers are women, those aged 18 to 44 and those with a high level of education. There is also a time for feasting, and feasting is high in winter. It should be noted that dietary supplements are bought in pharmacies, but purchases on the Internet have increased significantly among adults since 2015, rising from 1% to 11%.
How are nutritional supplements administered? Unlike drugs, marketing of dietary supplements does not require an MA.
These products are declared to the competition department, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention Department (DGCCRF), which examines their ingredients and conducts checks like other types of food. Many regulations at the European and national level establish a list of permitted substances in food supplements: vitamins, minerals and plants and the maximum daily doses not to be exceeded for vitamins and minerals. These lists can be read on the DGCCRF website. A dietary supplement is not a drug, so it cannot, by definition, claim any therapeutic effect. In addition, the nutrition and health that can be shown in these products are well regulated by European law. At the moment, authorization is given for a limited number of health services, the list can be consulted on the website of the European Commission.
The manufacturer is responsible for the compliance of the dietary supplement placed on the market and the regulatory framework is in place, both in terms of safety and consumer information. Is it necessary to take supplements?
Decreased food intake and nutritional deficiencies are a fortiori rare in the general population and only concern vitamin D. In general, in the absence of pathology, the coverage of nutrients is possible through a varied and correct diet as part of an active daily life. Additional consumption