Dietary supplements as a challenge for contemporary public health: scale of the phenomenon, health risk, legal regulations

Review Article, Pol J Public Health 2018;128(1): 30-35

Agnieszka Marzec1, Michał Skrzypek1, Zbigniew Marzec2

1 Department of Clinical Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2 Chair and Department of Bromatology, Faculty of Pharmacy with Medical Analytics Division, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

DOI: 10.2478/pjph-2018-0006

© 2018 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


The subject of the study is to present the issues of dietary supplements from the perspective of public health, taking into account definitional problems, the scale of the phenomenon in Poland and the look at the problem in question from the sociomedical perspective emphasizing the use of dietary supplements as a form of self-care. The study also discusses selected legal regulations in Poland and the EU on marketing and trading in dietary supplements. The article also presents, from the perspective of pharmaceutical sciences, the proposals for classification of dietary supplements and selected issues concerning safety of their use. 
The subject of a part of the present analysis is also the recent data showing the wide popularization of the phenomenon of polypragmasia consisting in simultaneous use of dietary supplements and OTC pharmaceutical agents with prescription drugs in Poland.


Keywords: dietary supplements, health risk, public health.


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