Interaction between food supplements and medicinal products
Food supplements differ from medicinal products in that they are products marketed as foodstuffs, the purpose of which is to supplement the normal diet, and which are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone or in combination, in dose form, designed to be taken in measured small unit quantities (source: Directive 2002/46/EC).
As such, food supplements cannot exert a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action like medicinal products; their use is not intended to treat or prevent diseases in humans or to modify physiological functions. Instead, food supplements are intended to correct nutritional deficiencies, maintain an adequate intake of certain nutrients, or to support specific physiological functions (source: EFSA).
Food supplements represent a significant portion of self-care product sales: for example, a total of 1.2 billion packs of minerals and vitamins were purchased by Europeans in 2018 with an aim to improve their health and contribute to their well-being (source: AESGP). With that said, there is considerable possibility of side effects or harmful interactions of food supplements with certain medicines, since many supplements contain active ingredients that can have a strong effect in the body. For instance:
- Vitamin K can reduce the ability of certain blood thinners to prevent blood from clotting.
- Grapefruit juice and its preparations can block the breakdown of many drugs (incl. but not limited to statins, beta-blockers, calcium antagonists, antiarrhythmic drugs, benzodiazepines, some antibiotics, oestrogens etc.) and thereby lead to drug build-up in the body.
- Antioxidant supplements, like vitamins C and E, might reduce the effectiveness of some types of cancer chemotherapy.
A supplements’ safety depends on many things, such as its chemical composition, how it works in the body, how it is prepared, and the dose used. In the Republic of Croatia, official inspection of health safety and compliance of food supplements with regulations is performed by the sanitary inspection of the State Inspectorate.
For monitoring purposes, all food supplements intended for marketing in the Republic of Croatia must be registered in the register of food supplements and foods for special medical purposes of the Croatian Ministry of Health (MZRH). Marti Farm has the required expertise to help you with everything you need in the process of notifying the aforementioned competent authority of the placing of your food supplement product on the market in the Croatian territory.
Zorana Stanko, MA / Professional Medical Translator
Lašćinska cesta 40
Planinska ulica 13/2
Office: +385 1 5588 297
Pharmacovigilance: +385 1 5588 297
Clinical trials: +385 1 5614 330
Registration: +385 1 242 0873
Marketing: +385 1 2420 890
Fax: +385 1 2420 860
Tel: +385 1 5588 297
Full company name
Short company name
Marti Farm Ltd. Trade and Services
Marti Farm Ltd.
Lašćinska cesta 40, HR-10000 Zagreb
Planinska ulica 13/2, HR-10000 Zagreb
a limited liability company
Commercial Court of Zagreb
HRK 20,000.00 (paid in its entirety)
Martina Diminić Smetiško, director of the
company (Representing the company
individually and independently, Responsible
person for data protection)
HR3623600001102197724 (Zagrebačka banka)
HR4324020061100628669 (Erste banka)
Full company name: Marti Farm Ltd. Trade and Services
Short company name: Marti Farm Ltd.
Headquarters: Lašćinska cesta 40, HR-10000 Zagreb
Office: Planinska ulica 13/2, HR-10000 Zagreb
Legal form: a limited liability company
Court register: Commercial Court of Zagreb
Registration number: 080751121
Share capital: HRK 20,000.00 (paid in its entirety)
Authorized representative: Martina Diminić Smetiško, director of the company (Representing the company individually and independently, Responsible person for data protection)
Bank account: HR3623600001102197724 (Zagrebačka banka), HR4324020061100628669 (Erste banka)