Supplements have no 'active' ingredient. Just like every CAM.

Supplements have no 'active' ingredient. Just like every CAM.

A brouhaha the last few weeks has been the realization that there is a disconnect between the label on a supplement bottle and the actual ingredients. Often the supplements contain no ‘active’ ingredients, and I put active in quotes as these substances really do nothing. Supplements producers were substituting one inert substance for others.

When evaluated, they often found there was no there there.

 

GNC (Herbal Plus brand)

  • Gingko biloba: None found, detected garlic, rice, spruce, asparagus
  • St. John’s wort: None found, detected garlic, rice, and dracaena (a houseplant)
  • Ginseng: None found, detected rice, dracaena, pine, wheat, grass and citrus
  • Echinacea: None found, detected rice
  • Saw palmetto: One sample had the product
  • Garlic: Contained garlic!

Target (Up and Up brand)

  • Gingko biloba: None found, detected rice, garlic and mung bean
  • St. John’s wort: None found, detected garlic, rice and dracaena
  • Garlic: Contained garlic! (one test detected no product)
  • Echinacea: Found in most samples
  • Saw palmetto: Found in most but not all samples
  • Valerian: None detected, found allium, bean, asparagus, pea family, rice, wild carrot and saw palmetto

Walgreens (Finest Nutrition brand)

  • Gingko biloba: None found, detected rice
  • St. John’s wort: None found, detected garlic, rice and dracaena
  • Ginseng: None found, detected garlic and rice
  • Garlic: None found, detected palm, dracaena, wheat and rice
  • Echinacea: None found, detected garlic, rice and daisy
  • Saw palmetto: contained saw palmetto!

Walmart (Spring Valley brand)

  • Gingko biloba: None found, detected rice, dracaena, mustard, wheat, radish
  • St. John’s wort: None found, detected garlic, rice and cassava
  • Ginseng: None found, detected rice, dracaena, pine, wheat/grass and citrus
  • Garlic: One sample had product
  • Echinacea: None found
  • Saw palmetto: Some samples contained small amounts. Also found garlic and rice

This is not the first time that supplements have been found wanting. That is what happens when here is no quality oversight

It is, perhaps, a defining characteristic of all the pseudo-medicines: what is on the label can not be found in the product.

Acupuncture: no qi or meridians.

Chiropractic: no innate intelligence or subluxation.

Homeopathy: literally nothing in the product.

Reiki: no Universal Energy and no touching of the client.

Therapeutic Touch: no touching of the client.

Craniosacral therapy: no cranial rhythm or spinal fluid ‘tides’.

I am trying to remember a pseudo-medicine that is not devoid of substance.

The New York attorney general has sent cease-and-desist letters to the retailers that were selling the supplements.

“Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal,” said Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general. “They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families.

Looks like the attorney general has has his work cut out for him,

Points of Interest 02/15/2015
Points of Interest 02/14/2015

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