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Author:  Jack D.
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/21/2004 11:04:00 AM
Subject:  Nutritional supplements
Message:  NOTE: I posted this two weeks ago (#9930), but have not received a response, so I am reposting to be certain that you saw this. I would greatly appreciate your p'saq because this is a relevant issue for me.

B'Khavod,

In previous posts, you have clarified that vitamins are not considered food.

1. What is the status of nutritional supplements in the form of tablets and caplets - food or not food?

2. A major supplement recommended by many physicians is "fish oil" - better known as "Omega 3 fatty acids". This comes in oil-filled gel-caps. One does not taste the oil (unless it repeats), but the oil itself is extracted from fish. Knowing this, do you find fish oil gel-caps to be considered food (like vinegar) or non-food (like whey)?

3. For someone who receives professional medical advice to take (a) nutritional supplements and (b) vitamins to maintain a healthy diet (no explicit health risk), would it be permissible to take these on Shabbath?

4. For someone who receives professional medical advice to take (a) nutritional supplements and (b) vitamins to improve a low-to-moderate health risk (e.g., borderline high cholesterol), would it be permissible to take these on Shabbath?

Thank you,
Jack D.

   
Reply:  1. If you are taking it as a food to satiate yourself then it is a problem from a Kashrut standpoint and a Mental Health standpoint.
2. food and see #1
3. no
4. Yes, as long as you must take it on Shabbat. (ie. you take twice a day or you must take in the morning) If not take before and after
CYA

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