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Testing of health safety of dietary supplements
Serbia (IFMSA-Serbia) - University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac
Department of Hygiene and Ecology Institute of Public Health Kragujevac
Professor Nela Djonovic MD
Assistant Professor Dragan Vasiljevic MD
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The majority of adults take one or more dietary supplements either every day or occasionally. Today's dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other products. Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms: traditional tablets, capsules, and powders...Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. Many supplements contain active ingredients that can have strong effects in the body.Supplements are most likely to cause side effects or harm when people take them instead of prescribed medicines or when people take many supplements in combination. Dietary supplements can also interact with certain prescription drugs in ways that might cause problems. Because that, patients and doctors should always be alert to the possibility of unexpected side effects, especially when taking a new product. This is why it is necessary to test the quality of nutritional supplements, because seals of approval provide assurance that the product was properly manufactured, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of project is to determine that dietary supplements does not contain harmful levels of contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals or minerals because all that ingredients can interfere with drugs metabolism and can cause secondary disease
What techniques and methods are used?
The study includes sampling with pipette, physical and chemical analysis of samples using gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy and interpretation of results.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student is expected to learn techniques of quantitative and qualitive analysis of samples on gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, infrared spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy under supervision. Student will learn how to take and prepare a sample for analysis. After the lab work student will learn how to interpret data and determine the concentration of vitamins, minerals, pesticides, heavy metals by his/her own.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
We will provide the material for preliminary reading and lecture about the project and the metodology applied in project. Also, will be short course about safe working in laboratory.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
No skills are required
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Biesalski HK; Tinz J.Multivitamin/mineral supplements: rationale and safety?A systematic review. Nutrition.2016._Mar_4
- Trivedi R; Salvo MC. Utilization and Safety of Common Over-the-Counter Dietary/Nutritional Supplements; Herbal Agents; and Homeopathic Compounds for Disease Prevention. Medical Clinics of North America. 2016 Sep 30;100(5):1089-99.
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