Natural Health Products: Know What You’re Consuming

Montreal – November 8, 2013 – Not all natural health products are created equally. While some manufacturers cut corners and substitute ingredients, there are other natural remedies which have been clinically tested and approved by Health Canada for their effectiveness. The bottom line: it’s important for the public to educate themselves and understand what they are consuming.

“Many natural health product manufacturers do deliver what they promise and aren’t out to make a quick buck,” says Mackie Vadacchino, CEO of A.Vogel Canada.

Vadacchino references a recent article published in the journal of BMC Medicine which claimed that 44 herbal products from 12 unnamed companies contained 20% filler not listed on the bottle, and that one third of the product offerings did not contain any DNA of the plant-based supplement the company was advertising.

“The study was disappointing as it did not provide a complete picture of the industry,” said Vadacchino. “There are high quality herbal products that have been thoroughly tested in clinical environments and that have been approved and licensed by Health Canada. The study could have been a great opportunity to educate consumers about the differences in natural products instead of tarring the entire industry with the same brush.”

When buying natural health products the most important thing a consumer can do is arm themselves with knowledge, says Professor Dr. Eccles, a leading researcher at the Common Cold Centre and Healthcare and part of the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. “You don’t buy wine without understanding the provenance of where it comes from, it’s the same with these natural products,” says Eccles. “Consumers should only buy from companies that have highest quality – those that have done testing and trials that are published in the public domain.”

Eccles believes you get what you pay for. “The companies that standardize their processes are the only ones who are able to deliver a consistent product each time,” he explains, pointing to a study he undertook, with four other researchers, for A. Vogel.

The study was the largest clinical trial to date to test the safety and efficacy of Echinacea. As a result of the study findings, A.Vogel’s Echinaforce is the only natural product licensed by Health Canada for both prevention and long-term treatment of cold and flu. The product has also been approved for use for up to four months where other products can only be used for two weeks.

A. Vogel products undergo more than 500 quality control checks from seed to bottle. From growing, to harvesting to production, “there are only a few steps from the field to the manufacturing plant,” explains Eccles, who has visited the A. Vogel manufacturing site in Switzerland. He also stressed that A. Vogel remedies are derived from fresh plants. Like fresh herbs and spices used in cooking, they deliver a more potent product than their dried equivalents.

A.Vogel leads in clinical studies and testing of its products, and as Eccles reiterates, transparency in testing is crucial.

The public would have been better served if the study published in the journal of BMC Medicine had also been transparent with its findings, as consumers need to be fully informed when it comes to natural health products.

About A. Vogel: 

Based on the lifelong work of Alfred Vogel, Bioforce Canada is the premier supplier of highest quality Natural Products throughout Canada.

Leading with clinically-researched, fresh-plant medicines from A.Vogel, Bioforce also provides organic foods and body care products from biologically certified cultivations in Switzerland.

Bioforce complete line includes Aromaforce pure essential oils, Natur pure natural foods, Bio-Strath complete tonic, Biotta pure organic juices, and Herbavita herbal hair care and coloring products.

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