China’s “super market” for food supplements has grown by more than a third since it opened in the summer of 2015.
But amid growing concerns over the safety of the products, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the supplement industry has become a major source of new drug problems.
The regulator said in a statement on Monday that it is “extremely concerned about the risk of the use of these supplement products by consumers”.
“Vitamin K supplements pose a major risk to health because they are manufactured with a high degree of accuracy,” the statement said.
The supplements, which are manufactured by the Shanghai Food Industry Corporation, are often marketed to patients suffering from a range of health problems, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression.
They are sold in supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores and health centres, and are often used by parents to treat their children with a nutritional supplement, such as vitamin B12 or calcium.
In addition to the risks of the supplements themselves, some consumers are also concerned about their potency.
The supplement industry is currently facing increased scrutiny from China’s national health authorities, who are considering banning the products from the market.
However, a report by the FDA said that while “supermarket drug sales are still relatively small in China”, there is increasing concern over the products’ safety and potential to pose a health risk.
The watchdog said the industry has grown rapidly, with some supplements making up a third of all the supplements sold in China in 2016.
It said this has led to “a rapid growth of the Chinese supplement industry, which now accounts for a quarter of the global market”.
According to the regulator, supplements made in China are marketed in supermarkets and health shops.
“While the Chinese industry is very important, it is not the only one in the world,” the regulator said.
“The use of supplement products in China has become an attractive and lucrative source of revenue, as well as a major reason for the rapid growth in the supplement market.”
It added that the industry “can be a significant source of profit for supplement companies”.
While the supplement trade is not new, the issue of supplement use in China is of particular concern.
In 2016, the WHO said that the number of supplements sold was growing by 25 percent per year.
In a separate report published in March, the organisation said that more than half of all people who have used supplements in the past year had taken one or more of the supplement supplements.
In China, the supplement companies are regulated by the country, and there is a national ban on the sale of their products.
While the Chinese government has banned their products from sale in the country for now, the regulator has said it is considering imposing further restrictions on the supplement business.