In conclusion, easy internet access to NSs lacking adequate medical information and strong scientific evidence is a public health concern, mainly considering that a misleading information could lead to an improper prevention especially in healthy people and improper management of a disease in people suffering from diabetes. It is necessary to develop appropriate and reliable information to enable consumers to make an informed decision about the product prior to purchasing it. Furthermore, health care providers should be more informed about these widely used products. It is also evident that more research to validate the efficacy and safety of these NSs is called for.
ALA: Alpha lipoic acid; NHANES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; NIH-ODS: National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements; NS: Nutritional supplement; FDA: Food and Drug Administration; MA: Meta-analysis; RCT: Randomized controlled trial; SR: Systematic review; T2D: Type 2 diabetes.
The article was conceived by all authors. LC took responsibility for drafting the article. MC and LC carried out the Web search and interpreting of the data. EC, DF, LC and UG had a substantial role in critical revision. All the authors have given their final approval of the version for publication.
The authors gratefully acknowledge "Quality and Technology Assessment, Governance and Communication Strategies in Health Systems" Study and Research Centre - University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy for the support.
BMC Public Health. 2013;13(777) © 2013 BioMed Central, Ltd.
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