Naturally Complex: Perspectives and Challenges Associated With Botanical Dietary Supplement Safety Assessment

Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Aug;118:963-971. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.04.007. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Abstract

Due to the extensive use of botanical dietary supplements by consumers in the United States, there is a need for appropriate research and data to support safety assessments. Complexity and variability, both natural and introduced, of botanical dietary supplements make research on these products difficult. Botanical dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), as amended by the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). They are regulated as a category of food, which differs from the regulation of pharmaceutical products. Both manufacturers and the FDA are faced with the challenge of determining the best approaches for evaluating and monitoring the safety of botanical products. High quality botanicals research requires accurate identification and characterization of the material being studied. Inconsistent results in efficacy studies of botanical dietary supplements have led to efforts to improve the rigor and reproducibility of research in the field. Addressing the challenges associated with botanical dietary supplement safety is a global effort requiring coordination between numerous stakeholders, including researchers, suppliers, manufacturers, and regulators, all of whom play a role in ensuring that high quality products are available on the market.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Food Safety
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry

Substances

  • Plant Extracts