No… the labeling rules have.
For the first time in over two decades, the Food and Drug Administration is mandating changes to the way foods and dietary supplements are labeled. The new regulations call for significant revision of numerous long-used health and nutrition standards, and will affect healthcare providers, patients and consumers alike.
There are numerous changes that involve a variety of things.. how big and where on the label certain information has to be, the way sugar is shown, etc… But, when it comes to vitamin (dietary supplement labels) these are the changes you’ll probably notice.
1) A change that will make your vitamin labels look very different and maybe confusing – Kiss the IU Goodbye!
The new labeling provisions will change the units of measure used to quantify a number of important vitamins. Arguably, the biggest change is that FDA is completely eliminating the International Unit (IU) as an accepted unit of measure. For vitamins A, D, and E, IUs will be replaced with metric units–micrograms (mcgs) or milligrams–per the recent Institute of Medicine recommendations for nutrition labeling. The omission of IUs from supplement labels will undoubtedly cause confusion for many who’ve become accustomed to the IU system. For instance, those of us accustomed to seeing 400 IU of vitamin D on a label, will now need to know that this equals 20 mcg. (Because Vitamin D is so widely expressed in IUs, manufacturers can voluntarily continue to use the old IU units — in addition to the required mcgs — on their labels.
2) All foods and multivitamins, single letter vitamins, and minerals carrying nutrition facts or supplement labels will be affected by the changes! Most vitamins and minerals will receive adjusted DVs*. For example:
- Potassium, recognized as a beneficial blood pressure-lowering nutrient, the FDA is raising the recommended daily intake of potassium from 3,500 mg to 4,700 mg per day.
- Calcium recommendations will also increase notably from 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg daily.
- Choline, for which there previously was no recommended daily intake, now has a DV of 550 mg.
- Vitamin C has changed from a mandatory label nutrient to a voluntary label nutrient and the DV has increased from 60 mg to 90 mg.
- Vitamin A was a mandatory nutrient and is now a voluntary label nutrient. If Vitamin A is listed on the new nutrition label it must be listed in mcg of Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE), which is a change in unit from the pre-existing label, where Vitamin A was listed in IUs.
- Vitamin E is a voluntary nutrient whose label unit is changing from IU to mg of alpha-tocopherol.
- Folate is a voluntary nutrient whose label unit is changing from mcg of total folate to mcg of Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE).