(HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements to the same degree as prescription drugs.
So, the American Cancer Society says you should talk with your doctor before taking any supplement, including vitamins.
The society debunks these popular myths about supplements:
- Megadosing: More is better -- There is no scientific evidence that using large doses effectively fights disease. In fact, large doses of certain vitamins can be toxic or inhibit the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.
- "All natural" is better -- Supplements that claim to be "all natural" are not always safer than refined or manufactured substances.
- It's been used for thousands of years, so it must work -- Folk or traditional medicines are not automatically guaranteed safe or effective.
- It can't hurt to take supplements along with my regular meds -- Some supplements can affect the body's ability to absorb prescription and OTC meds.
- If it could hurt you they wouldn't be allowed to sell it -- The FDA doesn't have the regulatory authority to verify every claim made about a supplement.