You may have noticed changes to your Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts panels due to new FDA requirements. All supplements labeled after December 31st, 2019 must comply with these new regulations and you may have already noticed a change on your labels. We will take you through some of the key changes, but to get the complete breakdown, visit www.fda.gov.
Daily Value Change
Daily Value (DV) comprises both Daily Reference Value (DRV) & Reference Daily Intake (RDI). The new nutrient values are based on updated scientific information to help consumers make better informed choices about their food and health.
You will see RDI increases on the following vitamins and minerals which means the % DV on the Supplement Facts panel may be lower. Some RDI increases include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Calcium, Phosphorus Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium.
For RDI decreases, just the opposite is true: the % DV on the Supplement Facts panel may be higher than before. Some RDI decreases include Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Sodium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Chromium, and Chloride.
You will see a DV change on labeling for sub-populations too. There are 3 sub-populations: Pregnant and lactating women, Children 1 through 3 years and Infants through 12 months.
New List Order
The listing order of vitamins and minerals on the Supplement Facts panel has changed. If you think an ingredient is missing on a long ingredient list, just continue reading—you’ll find it.
The new order for vitamins is as follows: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid and Choline. “Choline?” you ask. Yes, Choline is a newcomer to the nutrient list as a vitamin.
For minerals, the new list order is as follows: Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Chloride, Sodium, Potassium and Fluoride.
Unit of Measure
In the past, the strength of Vitamin D was measured in “IU” (International Units) but will now be measured in “mcg” (micrograms). For example, if you have typically purchased Vitamin D 400 IU, under new compliance, the label will read Vitamin D 10 mcg (400 IU). You’ll still see the IU in parentheses on the Supplement Facts panel and possibly on the front label for some time, but this will taper off as consumers become familiar with the change.
The same is true for Vitamin A which shifted from an “IU” measurement to “mcg RAE.” The new measurement, “mcg RAE” (micrograms Retinol Activity Equivalents), more accurately reflects the actual vitamin A activity in its many forms.
Vitamin E, which was also measured in “IU” (International Units), will now be measured in “mg” (milligrams) RRR-a-Tocopherol. The new measurement accounts for the difference in activity between naturally occurring and synthetic vitamin E.
Finally, Folic Acid will be measured as Folate “mcg DFE” (Dietary Folate Equivalent). This change accounts for the difference in bioavailability between dietary folate and the supplement form, folic acid.
Mandatory & Voluntary, Vitamins & Minerals
It is now mandatory to show Vitamin D & Potassium in the Supplement Facts: recent research indicates these important nutrients may be lacking in our diets, so now required on the label.
Vitamin A & Vitamin C are no longer mandatory since current research shows these nutrient deficiencies are considered rare, however, may be added voluntarily.
What was acceptable under the definition of Dietary Fiber has changed by limiting what fiber sources can be used. The newly acceptable fiber sources include only those that are considered beneficial to human health by the FDA. This list includes non-digestible natural carbs and lignins from plants. Ingredients that are still considered dietary fibers include psyllium, beta-glucan, guar gum, and pectin.
Sugars is now Total Sugars! Plus, Includes X g Added Sugars, is now included beneath Total Sugars if more than 1 gram of added sugars is used in the formula. Added sugars account for most of our caloric intake so knowing the amount of added sugar versus what is naturally occurring, lets consumers make more informed decisions about their diets.
Required Footnote on Supplement Facts
“Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet” must be present if the %DV is declared for Total Fat, Total Carbs, Saturated Fat, Dietary Fiber, Protein, and Added Sugars.
Do You Need to Toss All Your Dietary Supplements after Jan 1, 2020?
Absolutely not, unless that happens to be the actual expiration date printed on the bottle. You will see the former labeling on retail shelves after Jan 1, 2020 and that’s OK. During this transition, both labeling versions may be on available as stores update to the new packaging. The products under the previous label requirements are still safe and effective.