Nutraceuticals are defined as products that are derived from food sources that provide health benefits in addition to their basic nutritional value. These include the herbal supplements & those claiming botanical origins. Nutraceuticals also range in contents, sometimes including the entirety of a food (like ginseng) or just components that have been isolated from a food (like carotene from carrots).
The nutraceutical industry is growing rapidly because of the popular claim that they do not have the side effects that medications can produce since they are derived from natural sources. Similarly, no prescription is needed to buy them. Probiotics, antioxidants, and phytochemicals are some of the many examples.
Because the industry is largely unregulated, consumers are starting to educate themselves by researching the products with the best health “ratings”, including safety for consumption. Manufacturers and suppliers can help establish trustworthiness & integrity by having a third-party lab such as SGS analyze their products and confirm the absence (or at least non-toxic levels) of certain elemental impurities.
Some of the more notable recent developments in the industry are the USP’s verification program and ‘Stamp of Approval,’ along with the recent update to the USP <2232> general chapter. The mission of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is to improve the health of people around the world through standards and programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefits of food and medicine. The main objective of USP <2232> is to limit the amounts of elemental impurities in finished dietary supplement products, with focus on “The Big 4”: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.
CSL has extensive experience in the analysis of supplements and nutraceuticals. Feel free to contact us today to discuss your specific nutraceutical issues, or to obtain a quote for testing of your products.