ECHINACEA SUPPLEMENTS VARY WIDELY IN INGREDIENTS BUT FOUND CLEAR OF CONTAMINANTS ACCORDING TO CONSUMERLAB.COM
-- New Report Guides Consumers Through Wide Range of Dosage, Species, Preparations, and Formulas in Echinacea Products --
ConsumerLab.com found enormous variation in ingredients among products reviewed, and listed daily amounts of echinacea ranged from just 25 mg to over 1,600 mg for extracts to as much as 3,600 mg for dried herb powders.
According to Mark Blumenthal, Founder & Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, "Of all of the popular herbs in the U.S. market, the clinical research on echinacea is probably the most challenging to interpret due to the range of preparations used, yielding positive as well as negative results. However, the research does support the use of certain echinacea preparations for either prevention or treatment of upper respiratory symptoms associated with colds and flus."
Dr. William Obermeyer, ConsumerLab.com's Vice President for Research and a former FDA scientist, commented that, "More clinical trials with better chemically characterized echinacea will help improve our understanding of what echinacea does and our ability to identify quality products."
The new Product Review of Echinacea Supplements provides test results for sixteen supplements — nine selected by ConsumerLab.com and seven tested at the request of their manufacturers/distributors through CL's Voluntary Certification Program and included for having met the quality criteria for contaminants. Also listed are two products similar to one that passed contamination testing but are sold under different brand names. Brands included in the report are Dinosaurs Jurassic Echinacea, Gaia Herbs, GNC, Herb Pharm, Herbs for Kids, ImmuGo, Life Extension, Li'l Critters, MMS, Nature Made, Nature's Bounty, Planetary Herbals, Puritan's Pride, Rite Aid, Solgar, Spring Valley, Swanson, and Vitamin World. In addition to test results, the report reviews and compares the amounts of echinacea and other ingredients in the products.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.