The National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention Partner to Raise Awareness About the Safe Use of Vitamins and Other Supplements

Hispanic consumers are encouraged to look for the USP Verified Mark when purchasing dietary supplements and to talk to their health care provider about all the vitamins and other supplements that they use daily.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 16, 2014

“Next time you buy vitamins or other supplements, look for the USP Verified Mark and make sure to tell your health care provider about all the vitamins and other supplements you are taking," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance).

“Many people are unaware that dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs,” said John B. Atwater, Ph.D., senior director of verification programs at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a global heath, nonprofit organization that sets quality standards for medicines, foods and dietary supplements. “When you see the USP Verified Mark on a dietary supplement label, it tells you that the quality of the product has been verified by USP and what’s on the label is in the bottle.”

This is why the National Alliance for Hispanic Health has partnered with USP to launch a campaign to encourage Hispanic consumers to look for the USP Verified Mark when purchasing dietary supplements and to talk to their health care provider about all the vitamins and other supplements that they use daily. The campaign includes distribution of the Buena Salud Club infocard, participation in local health events and a toll free helpline for consumers to call to get more health information (1-866-783-2645).

“It is extremely important that if you are taking any vitamins or other supplements to let your health care provider know. Taking too much could be harmful, and it could interact with and reduce the effectiveness of your medications, or cause adverse reactions,” said Dr. Delgado. Research published by CDC, AARP and the Annals of Pharmacotherapy shows that 53% of American adults (i) take vitamins or other supplements on a regular basis and that two-thirds (65%) of Hispanics ages 45 and older believe that herbal remedies and supplements are very effective (ii). Of great concern is that a 70% of Hispanics do not consult a medical professional prior to taking vitamins or other supplements.

Hispanic consumers use a wide range of complementary and alternative medicines and supplements, but often do not tell their health care provider what they are taking (iii). “It is essential for healthcare providers to ask about and understand the reasons Hispanics take vitamins and other supplements. It is the only way to be able to address the medical needs of the Hispanic patient,” concluded Dr. Delgado.

To obtain more consumer information on the USP Verified dietary supplements, please visit http://www.uspverified.org/ or call Su Famllia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (1-866-783-2645) to receive free confidential health information and referrals to low-cost or no cost health care services in your area.

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About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
The mission of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) is to improve the health and well-being of Hispanics. Founded in 1973, the Alliance is the nation’s oldest and largest network of Hispanic health and human service providers. Alliance members deliver quality services to over 15 million persons annually. As the nation’s action forum for Hispanic health and well-being, the programs of the Alliance strive to: Inform and mobilize consumers; Support health care providers in the delivery of quality care; Promote appropriate use of technology; Improve the science base for accurate decision-making; and, Promote philanthropy among Hispanic communities. For more information, visit the Alliance online at (http://www.hispanichealth.org) or call 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645).

USP – Global Expertise, Trusted Standards, Improved Health
The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a global health organization that improves lives through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP’s standards are used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org.

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i - Gahche J, Bailey R, Burt V, et al. Dietary supplement use among U.S. adults has increased since NHANES III (1988–1994). NCHS data brief, no 61. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db61.htm

ii - Gretchen, Anderson (2010) Usage of Herbal Supplements and Remedies among Hispanics 45+. Conducted for AARP Viva su Segunda Juventud. March 2010 http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/health/segunda_herbals.pdf

iii - Ortiz, Blanca I., Shields, Kelly M., Clauson, Kevin A., Clay, Patrick G. (2007) Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Hispanics in the United States - The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2007;41(6):994-1004. http://aop.sagepub.com/content/41/6/994.abstract


Contact

  • Abigail Hernandez
    National Alliance for Hispanic Health
    +1 202-797-4357
    Email
  • Claudia Costabile
    U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
    301-816-8314
    Email