Changing the health of a nation
DSHEA paves the way
With the passing of DSHEA in 1994, Congress empowered consumers to make choices about preventive healthcare.
With the ever-increasing costs of medical care and incidence of disease, Americans have become more aware of their health than ever. Much of the focus, especially in light of prolific scientific research over the last decade, is on the maintenance of good health through the use of nutritional supplements. Combine that with the aging of 76 million Baby Boomers who are searching for products that help them look younger, feel younger and live longer, and its no wonder the nutrition industry has exploded over the last few years.
In response to tremendous public support and overwhelming scientific data that dietary supplements work, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) with virtually a unanimous vote from the House and Senate. According to DSHEA, nearly 50 percent of Americans 130 million people regularly consume dietary supplements as a means of improving their health. DSHEA also determined, among its other findings, that:
1. The importance of nutrition and the benefits of dietary supplements to health promotion and disease prevention have been documented increasingly in scientific studies;
2. There is a link between the ingestion of certain nutrients or dietary supplements and the prevention of chronic diseases;
3. Consumers should be empowered to make choices about preventive health care programs based on data from scientific studies of health benefits related to particular dietary supplements; and
4. The nutritional supplement industry is an integral part of the economy of the United States.
DSHEA recognizes products that contain one or more dietary ingredients as dietary supplements. Dietary supplements can include the following ingredients: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs and botanicals. Prior to DSHEA, products were subjected to an array of conflicting regulations and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) policies that led to confusion about the proper role of dietary supplements.
But DSHEA has made it possible to educate consumers by providing a broader scope of information about the benefits of dietary supplements. Through this education, empowered consumers are better able to make choices about their own health care regimens. DSHEA also confirms the right of nutritional supplement manufacturers to: describe the effect of a dietary supplement on the structure or function of the body; describe the biological mechanism by which a nutrient acts to maintain the structure or function of the body; and make general statements about well-being.
The passing of DSHEA was an important milestone for the nutritional industry. This legislation not only has enabled us to develop life-changing, scientifically proven nutritional supplements for millions of Americans who want to improve their health and well-being, but it also allows us to inform consumers about those health benefits. In an industry with annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than $100 million additional growth per month, DSHEA also has paved the way for Marketing Executives to achieve their goals of time freedom and financial independence by participating in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.