Thursday, January 2, 2014

Herbal Mysteries

There are over 29,000 herbal products sold over-the-counter in stores today. But do you really know what is in each bottle? A recent study published in BMC Medicine revealed that we actually do not. It found that nearly 60% of products tested contained substances that were not listed on the ingredient list. In addition, many products contain unlisted fillers that can contain matter such as soybeans, rice, and wheat, which is concerning when it comes to allergies and intolerances. Contaminants and substitutions of herbal products are concerning because some of these substances could be toxic either on their own or in conjunction with other herbs, foods, or medicines. Unfortunately there are no standards or regulations for herbal products, even though the medicinal herb market is one of the fastest growing segments in North America. Be careful about what you are buying and consuming!

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