What Are Vitamins and How Do They Differ from Drugs?

When it comes to maintaining good health, many people turn to dietary supplements. These supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as food, not as drugs. However, many of these supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects that may conflict with a medication you are taking or with a medical condition you may have. It's important to note that dietary supplements do not provide a cure for any disease or illness; they are only taken to supplement or reinforce the need for nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Supplements can include minerals, vitamins, or other natural biological substances and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including concentrates, extracts, capsules, tablets, liquids and powders.

Before taking large doses of any vitamin, mineral, or other supplement, it's important to talk to your health care team. The approval of Ascor by the FDA is based on the historical use of vitamin C (or its dietary sources) as the sole treatment for scurvy. Scurvy is an orphan disease in the United States and most commonly affects malnourished, homeless, or refugee people (and, in the 15th and 16th centuries, sailors and pirates). The product label specifically states that Ascor is not indicated for the treatment of vitamin C deficiency that is not associated with the signs and symptoms of scurvy. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is not produced endogenously and human exposure depends on external dietary sources such as fruits and vegetables.

It's important to understand the difference between vitamins and drugs so that you can make informed decisions about your health.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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