Friday, February 13, 2015

The Dangers of Unregulated Herbal Supplements

If you have been watching the news, you have seen the many stories covering recent herbal supplement findings. These findings include well-known herbal products that do not contain the herbs they claim to include and, alarmingly, some of these supplements contain wheat when they state that they are gluten-free. Many of these store-brand supplements are sold in national retail stores such as Target, Walgreens, GNC, and Walmart.  

Consumers should be aware that herbal supplements are not subject to the same standards for safety as medications here in the U.S.  That means that they are not regulated by the FDA or any other regulatory entity for that matter. If you choose to take herbal supplements, please be cautious.

One example of a misleading supplement is a store-brand ginkgo biloba tablet that might not actually contain what is listed on the label.   Instead that supplement could contain wheat, mustard, radish, and/or other ingredients that would not be considered of herbal nature that are not listed on the label. This information was brought to light when the New York State attorney’s office conducted an investigation into some store-brand supplements.

If you have taken an herbal supplement and had an adverse reaction or are simply concerned about the ingredients, please do not hesitate to contact the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222.
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