Black Raspberry Supplements Put to the Test

Black Raspberry Supplements Put to the Test
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Less than half of herbal supplements tested from a dozen companies were found to be authentic.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The regulation of dietary supplements in the United States has been described as “Too Little, Too Late.” “Dietary supplements may be adulterated with dangerous compounds, be contaminated, fail to contain [what they say they contain],…contain unknown doses of the ingredients stated on the label, be sold at toxic dosages, or produce harmful effects” in other ways. This not only messes up any research done on them, but can put the general public “at risk.”

A third-party company that has tested thousands of supplements “identifies approximately 1 in 4 with a quality problem”—either not containing what they say, or contaminated in some way. One in four.

For example, I’ve done a few videos on the remarkable properties of black raspberries. Can’t always find them fresh or frozen; so, how about black raspberry supplements? You go to the store, or look online. How about this one? Fresh, raw, pure—that sounds good. Let’s look at the back. Says it just contains seedless black raspberry powder and absolutely nothing else, exclamation point. It’s nice to see that there’s no fillers or artificial ingredients. So, you plunk down your $23.77.

But, it turns out you’ve been had. The first clue was that the picture on the front was actually blackberries photoshopped to look like black raspberries—they couldn’t even be bothered to put a real image on their fake supplement. The researchers’ second clue was that it sure didn’t look like pure black raspberry powder. And so, they put it to the test—and, indeed, there was no black raspberry at all. Instead of “absolutely nothing else,” they should have just stopped with this bottle contains “absolutely nothing.” Or, at least you hope it contains nothing; who knows what’s actually in those capsules?

They tested every black raspberry product they could find, and even ones with the right picture on the front, and powder that actually looked real, yet more than a third appeared to have no black raspberry fruit at all. “At the moment, a consumer who assumes the US dietary supplement marketplace is free from risk [or even honest] is unfortunately naive.”

How widespread is this deception? Researchers used DNA fingerprinting techniques to test the authenticity of 44 herbal supplements from a dozen different companies. Less than half of the supplements were authentic—containing what they said they did. Most contained plants not listed on the label, substitutions with cheaper plants, contaminants, unlisted fillers—or, apparently, all filler.

And, this isn’t just fraud; some of this deception can really hurt people. For example, one St. John’s wort supplement had no St. John’s wort at all, but actually contained senna instead, which is an herbal laxative that can cause adverse effects—such as chronic diarrhea, liver damage, skin breakdown, and blistering.

This graph shows how twelve companies did. The researchers found that tested products from only two of the twelve companies were entirely authentic.  Herbs only work if they’re actually present. The supplement “industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers…” And by “some,” they mean 80% of the manufacturers in this study.

Until dietary supplements in the U.S. “are better regulated and quality control standards…[are] defined and endorsed, the safer source [of phytonutrients] as a consumer is from [actual] food…”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image Credit: AKuptsova via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The regulation of dietary supplements in the United States has been described as “Too Little, Too Late.” “Dietary supplements may be adulterated with dangerous compounds, be contaminated, fail to contain [what they say they contain],…contain unknown doses of the ingredients stated on the label, be sold at toxic dosages, or produce harmful effects” in other ways. This not only messes up any research done on them, but can put the general public “at risk.”

A third-party company that has tested thousands of supplements “identifies approximately 1 in 4 with a quality problem”—either not containing what they say, or contaminated in some way. One in four.

For example, I’ve done a few videos on the remarkable properties of black raspberries. Can’t always find them fresh or frozen; so, how about black raspberry supplements? You go to the store, or look online. How about this one? Fresh, raw, pure—that sounds good. Let’s look at the back. Says it just contains seedless black raspberry powder and absolutely nothing else, exclamation point. It’s nice to see that there’s no fillers or artificial ingredients. So, you plunk down your $23.77.

But, it turns out you’ve been had. The first clue was that the picture on the front was actually blackberries photoshopped to look like black raspberries—they couldn’t even be bothered to put a real image on their fake supplement. The researchers’ second clue was that it sure didn’t look like pure black raspberry powder. And so, they put it to the test—and, indeed, there was no black raspberry at all. Instead of “absolutely nothing else,” they should have just stopped with this bottle contains “absolutely nothing.” Or, at least you hope it contains nothing; who knows what’s actually in those capsules?

They tested every black raspberry product they could find, and even ones with the right picture on the front, and powder that actually looked real, yet more than a third appeared to have no black raspberry fruit at all. “At the moment, a consumer who assumes the US dietary supplement marketplace is free from risk [or even honest] is unfortunately naive.”

How widespread is this deception? Researchers used DNA fingerprinting techniques to test the authenticity of 44 herbal supplements from a dozen different companies. Less than half of the supplements were authentic—containing what they said they did. Most contained plants not listed on the label, substitutions with cheaper plants, contaminants, unlisted fillers—or, apparently, all filler.

And, this isn’t just fraud; some of this deception can really hurt people. For example, one St. John’s wort supplement had no St. John’s wort at all, but actually contained senna instead, which is an herbal laxative that can cause adverse effects—such as chronic diarrhea, liver damage, skin breakdown, and blistering.

This graph shows how twelve companies did. The researchers found that tested products from only two of the twelve companies were entirely authentic.  Herbs only work if they’re actually present. The supplement “industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers…” And by “some,” they mean 80% of the manufacturers in this study.

Until dietary supplements in the U.S. “are better regulated and quality control standards…[are] defined and endorsed, the safer source [of phytonutrients] as a consumer is from [actual] food…”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image Credit: AKuptsova via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

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