If your child is admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia you may need to do just that.  Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of Infectious Diseases, describes the hospital’s new policy of requiring parents to sign a waiver if they plan to administer over-the-counter supplements to their children during hospitalization. His article in this Sunday’s New York TimesSkip the Supplements” warns of the potential dangers of taking vitamins, minerals, or herbs, which are not regulated by the FDA.

“we ask them to sign a waiver stating that the supplement may be dangerous, and that most have not been studied for their effectiveness. “Use of an agent for which there are no reliable data on toxicity and drug interactions,” the waiver reads, “makes it impossible to adequately monitor the patient’s acute condition or safely administer medications.”

As supplements are not regulated by the FDA, there is no way of knowing if what is on the label is actually in the bottle, never mind if the dosing is correct. This policy makes sense and gives all of us a reason to pause and consider where we purchase our supplements.

Would you be willing to sign a waiver like this to take your vitamins? I try my best to investigate the manufacturers of supplements I take and recommend. Here are a few to consider:

New Chapter Whole Food Supplements- Their Zyflamend product has been used in prostate cancer prevention trials at Columbia University. New Chapter is a well-respected brand that verifies the quality and dosing of their supplements.

Coromega Fish Oil – I have used the Coromega product in my own clinical research at Indiana University, their product has also been used in studies at the Mayo Clinic.

Metagenics – I use their magnesium supplement at the advice of my own doctor and the company appears to ensure their quality through testing.

OrthoMolecular Products – also prescribed to me by an integrative practitioner. The company focuses on the efficacy of their products and I have been pleased with the results.