We’ve blogged about contamination here and here before, but this development seems even more audacious than before.
And Look, we all know (at least here on HT) that selecting & taking supplements is a bit of a Bro-Science. -Or if we’re Really honest, it’s Amateur Human-Guniea-Pig Biochemistry Gambling.
Well, thanks to what we’re learning from NY AG, Eric Schneiderman, and Canada’s University of Guelph, the truth is a lot worse than that.
In a battery of tests, it turns out the supplements we think we’re paying-for, dubious as some of the drug-like claims may be, aren’t even in the pills we’re taking.
It seems a particularly-apt time, given our current race-to-the-bottom consumer culture to dig up an old adage:
You Get What You Pay For.
(ok, doesn’t hold for GNC, because they’re pricey (and hence, doubly-reprehensible, non?))
But at GNC, Target, Walgreen’s & Walmart, Schneiderman’s team discovered through a type of DNA-Snapshot-Testing, that in a battery of examinations on Gingko, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Valerian, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto, almost all of the samples were either compromised or complete, 100% filler, void of all advertised herbs.
GNC fared the “best” and Wal-Mart the worst, with Target & Walgreen’s in the middle.
Anywhere from a minimum 78% fillers+contaminants occurred on GNC products, all the way down to 96% fillers+contaminants were found in the Wal-Mart samples.
Furthermore, not only were many of the fillers undisclosed, significant contamination of things like: Houseplant, Wood Pulp, Allergens, or even Dangerous-if-overdosed supplements were found instead.
And again I repeat: Some of the samples contained -Nothing But- contaminants & fillers.
And if you heed the caution of one commenter on CBS’s site:
“This is just the tip of the iceberg – other tests found real drugs, like amphetamine and Viagra, in the supplements. These are at least part of the reason that doctors see “health nuts” sick and dying younger than average.”
You just might reconsider the whole supplement-warrior health-nut avocation altogether.
Even more worrisome is this: As much as AG Schneiderman’s DNA-snapshot results might be circumstantially-criticized on extracts changed by heat & processing, his tests were probably done on at least 3 of the cheapest brands out there.
…-But what about that 2013 study done by the University of Guelph?
-Where they bought –All Different Kinds of Brands-…,
And didn’t disclose them?
What if it’s not just the Walgreen’s & Wal-Marts of the world?
What if the filler-gouging & cheap Chinese production of indiscriminate houseplant substitution goes higher up the food-chain into the Solgars, Solarays, Jarrows, Doctor’s Bests & VitaminShoppes of the world?
It seems that both Guelph & Schneiderman’s assertion that we need at-least expanded certification & testing of all supplements by the FDA or something like it, is the healthiest, most non-suicidal, route to take.
If I have to take any supplements in the future, I’ll certainly pay for the best quality I can afford. But right now, it seems like there are Absolutely NO Guarantees,
Especially at the low-end.
Stay safe out there until LabDoor goes widescale.
Check out the expanded details at the Links:
“Sign, Summer Night”, by kelilina
“Slot Machines”, by William Picard
• Source: AG Schneiderman Asks Major Retailers To Halt Sales…
• via: CBS News
• More Coverage: U. Guelph Study | NY Times
• Source Study: BMC-DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products
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