Mark Blumenthal

(SINGLE AUDIO CD DISC) Quality Control Challenges in Dietary Supplements: Accidental and Intentional Adulteration


10th Annual International Restorative Medicine Conference ~ 2012

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DESCRIPTION: The trade of botanical ingredients for the production of herbal drugs and phytomedicines, dietary supplements, and natural cosmetics is global, with supply and quality issues in one geographical region affecting other areas. Chemical complexity of botanicals requires added quality control diligence for raw material suppliers and manufacturers. In recent years there have been numerous cases of accidental misidentification of botanical materials due to nomenclatural confusion, lack of adequate quality control measures, etc. Also, there have been persistent cases of inadvertent contamination with heavy metals, agricultural chemicals, excessive microbial load, excessive solvent levels in extracts, etc. But there is also the disturbing trend of intentional adulteration-economically motivated adulteration (EMA)-as well as the "spiking" of extracts with undisclosed lower-quality and lower-cost ingredients. This also includes the spurious and illegal addition of active pharmaceutical ingredients (conventional pharmaceutical drugs) masquerading as dietary supplements. Additionally, it is possible that solvents used in the production of botanical extracts may exceed residual levels deemed appropriate by domestic and international authoritative bodies. These are areas of great importance to healthcare practitioners. This presentation reviews many of these quality control challenges, safety concerns and economic fraud created by them as is being compiled by the American Botanical Council, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi in a non-profit consortium called the ABC-AHP-Botanical Adulterants Program. There will also be information on solvents and solvent residues as documented in a new publication on solvents from ABC.


1.The attendee will be able to identify various industrial solvents used in the preparation of botanical extracts as well as how to locate reliable data on permitted residual levels of such solvents.

2. The health practitioner will be able to learn about the challenges in determining the accuracy of the identity of various herbal ingredients and cases studies of adulterants of these ingredients.

3. The healthcare practitioner will be able to ask more informed questions about quality control issues with respect to botanical ingredients.