New ConsumerLab.com report on St. John's wort highlights benefits and risks of herbal product for depression
WHITE PLAINS, NY — April 27, 2004 — ConsumerLab.com announced the findings today of its most recent testing of St. John's wort supplements. St. John's wort helps treat mild to moderate depression, but it must be used carefully due to potential drug interactions. Ten products passed the review and six did not.
Among the products that failed to pass, one provided less than one-quarter of the generally recommended dose of St. John's wort. Three other products contained the heavy metal cadmium at a level considered unacceptable by the World Health Organization. Two products were dropped from testing because they did not identify the part of the herb used, as required by the FDA.
"If not properly made, St. John's wort, like other herbs, may be contaminated or lack the right plant chemicals," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com. He advised, "While you can't always tell what's in the bottle, be sure that it claims to be made from flowers or leaves and know whether it is an extract or dried herb. Extracts are two to five times more concentrated than the herb, so the dose needs to be much higher for herb than extract." One product that failed the review was an herb powder from Amazon Nutraceuticals that suggested 1 to 2 capsules daily, while a more appropriate dose would be 7 to 13 capsules.
The names and results for products that passed and failed are listed in the new St. John's Wort Product Review at www.consumerlab.com/results/sjw.asp (subscription required for full list). The Review also provides information on how to best use these supplements.
Reviews of many other popular supplements are available from ConsumerLab.com online. New Reviews soon to be released include, multivitamins/multiminerals, valerian, vitamin E, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish and marine oils. The recently published paperback, ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements: What's Really in the Bottle? is available in bookstores, online from www.consumerlab.com or through 800-431-1579.
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 White Plains, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com (www.pharmacychecker.com), an evaluator of online pharmacies. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. For group subscriptions, Technical Reports, or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright ConsumerLab.com, LLC, 2004. All rights reserved.
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