Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients (i.e., mineral and vitamins) or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect that are marketed in “dose” form (e.g., pills, tablets, capsules in measured doses).
A wide range of nutrients and other ingredients might be present in food supplements, including, but not limited to, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, fibre, and various plants and herbal extracts.
In the EU, food supplements are regulated as foods. The harmonised legislation regulates the vitamins and minerals, and the substances used as their sources, which can be used in the manufacturing of food supplements.
For ingredients other than vitamins and minerals, the European Commission has established harmonised rules to protect consumers against potential health risks and maintains a list of substances which are known or suspected to have adverse effects on health and the use of which is therefore controlled.