Contaminated Herbal Products On The Shelves

Contaminated Herbal Products On The Shelves

I wrote about how to pick the best cost-effective supplements back in February 2012.  Interestingly, a new article from my alma mater (University of Guelph) has blown up all over the media – being run on Global TV, CBC and CTV in Toronto and even in the Huffington Post!

What the Study Showed

In summary, the authors of the study looked at 12 different supplement companies and 44 herbal products from these 12 supplement companies.  Shockingly, the study found that 59% of the products contained plant species that were not listed on the label and a third of these products contained contaminants and/or fillers that were not listed on the label either.  Furthermore, 30 of the 44 products contained substitutions and only two of the 12 companies had products without any substitutions.  Even worse, some of the contaminants may pose a serious health risk to consumers!

Why This Upsets Me

This topic has irked me for YEARS and I am appalled at the results.  It’s awful that consumers and my patients are going to the store and picking up supplements that they think are doing them good when they might not even get a product that contains what is on the label and even worse – it might even contain products that are harmful to them! 

Why This Applies to You

I have had countless patients tell me “Oh, I’ve already tried “product x, y and z” and it did nothing for me!”.  However, when I convince them that there is evidence to support the use of “product x, y and z” and they pick up the specific products from companies that I have worked with for years and trust completely, 9 of the 10 patients will actually see a benefit to it.

The Take-Away Message

I can’t say this enough.  It is EXTREMELY important to only take supplements that are high grade, third party tested and provide you with CoAs (Certificate of Analysis) when requested.  These are the only companies that I deal with and suggest to patients, and it takes years of research in combination with patient results to determine which companies are great and which companies are duds.  If you don’t have the time or the patience to do all of the background research, please consult a Naturopathic Doctor before taking any supplement in order to ensure that you not doing more harm than good.

You can find the full PDF of the article HERE.


If you’d like help going through your supplement list to help you determine if (1) they’re the supplements for you, (2) how much to take to optimize its effect, and most importantly (3) that they’re safe and reputable companies, CONTACT ME HERE to set up your complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting and we can get started.

What’s a discovery call/meeting?  It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.


Here are a few other posts about supplements that you might also be interested in:




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