Herbal supplements' testing topic of discussion at chemistry meeting March 30



ANAHEIM, Calif., March 30 A close look at methods for testing the quality of herbal supplements used by millions of Americans to protect against everything from the common cold to cancer will highlight a three-day symposium at the 227th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The symposium, "Challenges in Herb Research Chemical Analysis and Quality," begins at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, at the Hilton Anaheim, Pacific Ballroom B. A news conference on these subjects will be held Tuesday, March 30, at 11 a.m. Following are some of the key topics to be covered:

  • An accepted method to test herbal supplements:Joseph M. Betz, Ph.D., Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, will describe his office's efforts to create a program that will provide valid tests and materials for measuring accuracy of label claims for supplement products. At the moment, attempts to verify label claims may be hampered by a lack of widely available testing methods or by the presence of too many different competing test methods that may give different results for the same product. (AGFD 102, Tuesday, March 30, 1:30 p.m.)
  • Health benefits of herbal foods: Navindra P. Seeram, Ph.D., Center for Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, UCLA, will focus on polyphenols, found in abundance in food plants, such as fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols have been found to have health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and heart-protective properties. He will discuss studies showing such benefits of these bioactive compounds from herbal products. (AGFD 106, Tuesday, March 30, 3:40 p.m.)
  • Quality issues about plant products in the United States:Mingfu Wang, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., will discuss the quality of a variety of botanicals used in beverages, dietary supplements, foods, healthcare and personal care products. Even for standardized botanical extracts, he says, many quality problems exist. Often, he says, quality control standards are lacking or nonexistent. (AGFD 118, Wednesday, March 31, 10:15 a.m.)
  • Regenerative properties of Chinese herbs:Rong-Tsun Wu, Ph.D., Research Center for Drug Discovery & Institute of Biopharmaceutical Science, Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, will highlight a wide range of Chinese herbs to treat a broad range of conditions. Among these are anti-aging herbs and those used to treat dementia and help maintain normal eyesight. Still others are used as an adjunct to cancer chemotherapy, to repair brain damage and prevent osteoporosis. ( AGFD 133, Wednesday, March 31, 3:50 p.m.)

Source: Eurekalert & others

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