Herbal supplements' testing topic of discussion at chemistry meeting March 30


ANAHEIM, Calif., March 30 A close look at methods for testing the quality of herbal supplements used by millions of Americans to protect against everything from the common cold to cancer will highlight a three-day symposium at the 227th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The symposium, "Challenges in Herb Research Chemical Analysis and Quality," begins at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, at the Hilton Anaheim, Pacific Ballroom B. A news conference on these subjects will be held Tuesday, March 30, at 11 a.m. Following are some of the key topics to be covered:

  • An accepted method to test herbal supplements:Joseph M. Betz, Ph.D., Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, will describe his office's efforts to create a program that will provide valid tests and materials for measuring accuracy of label claims for supplement products. At the moment, attempts to verify label claims may be hampered by a lack of widely available testing methods or by the presence of too many different competing test methods that may give different results for the same product. (AGFD 102, Tuesday, March 30, 1:30 p.m.)
  • Health benefits of herbal foods: Navindra P. Seeram, Ph.D., Center for Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, UCLA, will focus on polyphenols, found in abundance in food plants, such as fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols have been found to have health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and heart-protective properties. He will discuss studies showing such benefits of these bioactive compounds from herbal products. (AGFD 106, Tuesday, March 30, 3:40 p.m.)
  • Quality issues about plant produc


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