WHITE PLAINS, NY, November 16, 1999 —
Consumers have a one out of four chance of buying a Ginkgo Biloba product that may not deliver the ingredients they are seeking. This is the finding of an independent analysis of products conducted by ConsumerLab.com, a consumer information company that has launched the largest program ever to evaluate the quality of dietary supplements sold in the U.S.
Gingko Biloba is one of the most widely used and best characterized herbal supplements. It is believed to be useful in increasing cognitive functions in elderly people, delaying the progression of Alzheimer's disease, increasing blood flow to the legs, treating tinnitus (ringing in the ear) of a circulatory origin, treating depression and asthma, and as an antioxidant. Ginkgo used in clinical trials has generally been shown to contain specific amounts of several plant chemicals associated with its activity.
There is no government monitoring of the manufacture of Ginkgo Biloba or other dietary supplements, and there have been reports of dietary supplements not containing their stated ingredients. To assess the quality of Ginkgo products on the market, ConsumerLab.com purchased 30 Gingko Biloba products in August at retail stores, online, and through direct and multi-level marketing companies. The contents of these products were tested against international standards for the quality and concentration of clinically tested Ginkgo Biloba.
Seven of the thirty products did not pass this testing. A list of those products that passed was posted today at www.consumerlab.com
, including more details about the testing.
Products that passed testing are eligible to carry ConsumerLab.com's flask-shaped CL Seal of Approved Quality under strict licensing terms. The seal and Internet posting of results are key elements of the ConsumerLab.com's mission to provide objective information about health, nutrition, and wellness products to consumers and healthcare professionals.
William R. Obermeyer, Ph.D., who left the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to become ConsumerLab.com's Vice President for Research, commented, "Consumers should have the right to expect that the supplements they buy will deliver the proper ingredients. Our results indicate that many manufacturers have the capacity to do a good job, and our posting of results on the Internet provides a very tangible incentive for more to do so."
Testing is now underway or scheduled for additional dietary supplements including Saw Palmetto, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Echinacea, St. John's Wort, and SAM-e. New results will be released approximately every four to six weeks.
ConsumerLab.com, LLC is an independent online provider of objective analyses of health, nutrition, and wellness products. Tod Cooperman, M.D. is the company's founder. Dr. Cooperman is also the founder of CareData Reports, Inc. a leading evaluator of managed care health plans nationally. ConsumerLab.com is privately held and headquartered in White Plains, New York. It is not affiliated with manufacturers, distributors, or retailers of consumer products and derives no income from the sale of such products. More information is available at www.consumerlab.com/aboutcl.asp
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