Not exempt of risks to health (including death), supplements and food supplements make up an industry not regulated or approved in the world in which the consumer tends to self prescribed or follow up on recommendations of friends and family. In contemporary society where the social production of necessity operates by means of symbols and archetypes, these products have found the fertile ground to build through the subjectivity, idealized models of health, body and age. Located in a gray area between botany and science, this industry in Mexico reaches an economic value of 10 thousand 940 million pesos.
Nutritional supplements include vitamins, minerals, and other less known substances such as herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes and animal extracts. They are sold in the form of tablets, capsules, soft gels and tablets. The reason for use range from: complement food, retard aging, provide more energy, weight control, improve sleep, prevention of osteoporosis, immune booster, improve memory, improve physical performance, increase muscle mass, among others. None of these attributes have been corroborated.
As they are not obliged to have a satinary récord, exhaustive tests are not carried out to demonstrate their effectiveness, quality and safety. In Mexico, the COFEPRIS defines the framework for the production of these products but does not regulate them: CODEX Alimentarius (2005) guidelines for food supplements of vitamins and minerals.