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What are Structure/Function Claims?

Nutritional claims often involve something known as Structure/Function Claims. Today we’ll take a deep dive into what these are, and why they’re significant in nutritional products and supplements.

What does Structure/Function refer to?

These claims are those that describe an ingredient’s effect on the normal structure or function of your body. For example, claiming that calcium builds strong bones. These can be very general or very specific, such as claims that describe the specific actions of an ingredient on your cell integrity.

Why are these significant?

While these claims do not mean a product has any kind of pre-approval from the FDA, they do indicate that the manufacturer must have evidence that the claim is substantial and truthful. The manufacturer must also submit the claim in its final written form to the FDA for confirmation that it’s appropriately substantiated and not misleading to consumers.

This may be reassuring to consumers and people researching different types of supplements, particularly as some of the health claims can seem vague or misleading.

Where else can you find Structure/Function claims?

Structure and Function claims can also be found in conventional foods. Nutritional labels often employ these claims to describe nutritive value, whereas supplements also tend to describe non-nutritive effects. Notably, the FDA does not require conventional food manufacturers to send in their claims as is required of supplement manufacturers.

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