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WHITE PLAINS, NY — Wednesday, July 7, 2004 — announced today that five valerian dietary supplements failed to pass recent testing due to low potency and/or contamination. Valerian, an herbal sleep aid, accounted for $47 million in sales in the U.S. in 2002, according to Nutrition Business Journal. Four products were found to contain only 20% to 40% of key compounds expected in valerian and one these was contaminated with lead. A fifth product was contaminated with cadmium, a heavy metal that is toxic to the kidneys. These results were confirmed in a second independent laboratory.

"Problems with valerian supplements are not new," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of "In 2001, we found similar problems. If you use valerian, choosing a product that passed the testing should improve your odds of it being effective while avoiding impurities."

The complete report is available at The report includes results for 13 products — eight that passed and five that failed. Five of the products listed were tested at the request of their manufacturers through's Voluntary Certification Program. The report also provides extensive information on using valerian and an article about clinical trials conducted with valerian.

Reviews of many other popular supplements are available from New Reviews soon to be released online include, vitamin E, iron, omega-3 fatty acids from fish and marine oils, milk thistle, nutrition bars, and supplements used for menopause. The recently published paperback,'s Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements: What's Really in the Bottle? is available in bookstores, online from or through 800-431-1579. 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. is affiliated with (, an evaluator of online pharmacies. Subscription to is available online. For group subscriptions, Technical Reports, or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at

Copyright, LLC, 2004. All rights reserved.

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