Several weeks ago the New York State attorney general asked GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart to remove several dietary supplements from their shelves. The State performed DNA tests on 24 supplements to check what plant materials were included in each one. Four out of five did not contain any of the herbs listed on the label. That’s right. 80% of supplements tested included such high-powered ingredients as wheat, rice powder, and house plants.
One of the supplements – supposedly ginko biloba – was nothing more than garlic powder and wheat. And the label stated it to be wheat- and gluten-free.
The Attorney General has since subpoenaed the retailers in question and demanded to know how they plan to prove the purity and authenticity of their products.
This kind of adulteration and blatant falsehoods are a major problem in the supplement industry. Each time law enforcement illuminates the guilt of one company, it casts a light of suspicion on all others. It also highlights how necessary it is to work with your naturopath to determine which products are suitable for you.
In Canada we are fortunate, in some ways, to have the NPN (Natural Product Number) system. Any natural product sold at retail in Canada must have a registration number (the NPN). These products bear a burden of proof, requirements to meet with Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP), and the necessity of precise labelling.
Still, not all products are created equal, and as long as there are loopholes and requirements there will be companies that sneak through or barely make the grade. Dietary supplements are, by and large, truly a “you get what you pay for” product.
Cheap supplements are just that. Cheap. Even if they contain whatever the label claims, the important question is what else do they contain? Many have fillers and excipients, reducing the price by a significant amount while limiting the effectiveness in an equally significant way.
Supplements used at the Nardella Clinic are therapeutic strength, professional quality, and have no fillers. It is something you can count on as a patient of our naturopathic clinic.