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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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Dietary supplement (supplement)
Photo: Dietary supplement To add as a supplement to what seems insufficient, e.g. "supplement your diet"; to serve as a supplement to e.g. "Vitamins supplemented his meager diet".

Nutritionally, dietary supplements refer to a substance such as a vitamin pill, fiber solution, or herbal extract that is consumed in addition to food in order to complete or enhance the diet. It is intended to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities.

Supplements as generally understood include vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, amino acids, probiotics, prebiotics, hormones, among other substances. In Canada, the Natural Health Products Directorate, a branch of Health Canada, oversees the regulation of natural health products.

A 2010 Ipsos-Reid survey found that 73% of Canadians regularly take natural health products (NHPs) like vitamins and minerals, herbal products, and homeopathic medicines.

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