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Labeling of active compounds in ginseng varies from actual content

Since passage of the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act of 1994, sales of herbal products have increased at about 10% per year. However, these products are not subject to the same chemical standardization that is required of pharmaceuticals. In an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Harkey et al. tested the composition of 25 different brands of ginseng, one of the most popular herbs worldwide. Commercial ginseng preparations from two generaPanax and Eleutherococcuswere analyzed to determine the labeling accuracy of the plant species and their active compounds. Though the supplements were correctly labeled as to plant genus, the concentrations of the main active components varied widely, from 10.8% to 327.7% of the labeled amounts.


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Contact: Elizabeth Horowitz
horowitz@ascn.faseb.org
301-530-7038
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
23-May-2001


Page: 1

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