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Abstract

An Assessment of Vitamin Supplements in the Indian Market

Author(s): Preeta K Chugh, Y Lhamo

We aimed to study the composition and availability of various vitamin preparations in the Indian market, data about which was collected from an annual Drug Compendium. The preparations were assessed for total number, different formulations, constituents and amount of each constituent present in the formulation. A large number of vitamin supplements are available in the Indian market. It includes singleâ??ingredient products and various combinations of vitamins, minerals, and other constituents. Among single products, the maximum number was that of vitamin D3 (n=150). Most of the supplements are available as combinations (76.49%), with vitaminâ??minerals combinations constituting the maximum number. In a large number of products, amount of the vitamins was not specified. The most common formulation for oral administration was capsules (34.1%). In our research, majority of the supplements contained nutrient amounts higher than the recommended intakes recommended dietary allowance. Unsupervised intake of vitamins can pose a serious health risk in the susceptible population. The composition and amount of each constituent in the dietary supplement should be detailed and properly labelled for each preparation. Availability of a large number of preparations with unknown composition as ‘over the counter’ agents requires a serious review of the legal provisions in India for drug manufacturing and marketing. There is a need for proper guidelines and regulations for the manufacturing, labelling and marketing of dietary supplements in India. Strict enforcement of such provisions is essential to safeguard the health of the population at large.

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