Dietary Supplements: Stories of Regulation, Safety, and Evidence

A healthy athlete dies of complications from heatstroke during training. The medical examiner finds a legal botanical dietary supplement played a “significant role” in the death. How are regulatory agencies able to respond? What are dietary supplements and how are they regulated in the United States? How do I find information about dietary supplements I want to take? Dietary supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and many Americans take them every day. Glimpse the behind-the-scenes world of dietary supplements and learn how to arm yourself with the best available information to make informed choices about your health.

Alyssa Tonsing-Carter, PhD is a Senior Research Scientist and the Program Manager for the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. Dr. Tonsing-Carter received her BS in biology in 2009 from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio where she studied the use of Echinacea for breast cancer. She received her PhD in pharmacology in 2014 from Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana studying the plant polyphenol, resveratrol, in combination with a common chemotherapy drug against drug-resistant breast cancer. For her postdoctoral training, she moved to Chicago to join the UIC Botanical Center studying how botanicals may cause harm when taken with other medications, and in 2016 she continued that work in her current position. Outside of the science, she enjoys reading, hiking, bouldering, cocktails, and food.

This program presented in partnership with The Radler.

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