Herbal Supplements: Healthy or Hoax?
December 2, 2013•9 min
Herbal supplement buyers beware: DNA tests show that many pills are mislabeled and contaminated with powdered rice and weeds.Herbal supplement buyers beware: DNA tests show that many pills are mislabeled and contaminated with powdered rice and weeds.The New York Times reported this after researchers performed testing called DNA bar-coding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry. Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles from popular supplements sold by 12 companies in Canada and the U.S. The researchers found that many pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted, or replaced entirely, by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice.Of 44 herbal supplements tested, one-third showed no trace of the plant advertised on the bottle, but rather a substitution in its place. Many were tainted with those filler ingredients, which were not listed on the label.But is the problem widespread?Dr. Decker Weiss discusses the quality control and regulatory issues within the herbal supplement industry. He also shares how you can find brands you can trust.