In organic stores, supermarkets, parapharmacies and above all, in our plates, food supplements are everywhere. But is this craze justified? Answer on July 9, 2019 on France 5 with the documentary “Dietary supplements: cure of intox?”.
In addition to having invaded our dailies in a very short time, food supplements make many promises. Weight loss, hair growth, stress reduction … their (pseudo) benefits are many. But is the craze around all these pills really justified? This is the question that the director Ludivine Favrel asked herself. She signs Dietary supplements: cure d’intox?, A documentary broadcast this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 23:55 on France 5. Back for the occasion on four things unknown about them.
# 1 The French people consume a lot (too much?)
According to the INCA 2 study conducted in 2007 by the National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor (ANSES), the French and French are major consumers of supplements food. One in five adults would take it all year for 23% of them. Thus, 150 million boxes of these pills are sold each year in France to solve all kinds of problems. And they seduce more and more people. According to a recent OpinionWay poll for Synadiet, 46% of French people have already consumed dietary supplements in their lifetime. However, the National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor (ANSES) has already made some recommendations about them. “In the absence of pathologies” and as part of a “varied diet associated with physical activity”, “consumption of food supplements is not necessary,” said the experts.
# 2 The market is extremely lucrative
This great fervor brings a lot of money to the various laboratories. In 2018, the French market for food supplements weighed almost two billion euros in sales, 1.9 billion precisely (OpinionWay survey for Synadiet, January 2019).
# 3 Their marketing is not regulated
While this is the case for all drugs in France, the sale of food supplements is not regulated by a marketing authorization and this poses several problems. The first is the absence of a clinical trial. They are only controlled by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) which has no obligation to do so. Second problem, and not least: they can be taken without a prescription and strengthen, not without risk, self-medication.
# 4 They are now closely scrutinized
To cope with this massive and sometimes excessive consumption, ANSES launched a program to monitor the adverse effects of nutrition and dietary supplements in 2009, Nutrivigilance. This program plays a key role today in identifying the potential risks associated with food supplements, but also with energizing drinks and foods. Since its launch, more than 4,000 adverse events have been reported, 9 out of 10 being fully attributed to these supplements.