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|Title:||Assessing herbal products with health claims|
|Authors:||LAPENNA SILVIA; GEMEN RAYMOND; WOLLGAST Jan; WORTH Andrew; MARAGKOUDAKIS PETROS-ACHILLEFS; LOURO CALDEIRA SANDRA|
|Citation:||CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION|
|Publisher:||TAYLOR \& FRANCIS INC|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||The botanical world is a gold mine. Herbs, herbal extracts or phytochemicals are broadly used as foods, drugs and as traditional medicines. Many herbal-derived products have health-promoting effects and are therefore marketed as such. However, there are cases of herbal products that claim health benefits that are not scientifically demonstrated. Such products mislead the consumer, are potentially dangerous and also undermine the credibility of the whole botanical field. This review details the complex EU legislative framework that regulates the approval and marketing of herbal products bearing health claims as well as the scientific evidence that is needed to support such claims. To illustrate the latter we focus on phytoecdysteroid (PE)-containing preparations, generally sold to sportsmen and bodybuilders. We review the limited published scientific evidence that supports claims for these products in humans. In addition we model the in silico binding between different PEs and human nuclear receptors and discuss the implications of these putative bindings in terms of the mechanism of action of this family of compounds. We call for additional research to validate the safety and the health promoting properties of PEs and other herbal compounds, for the benefit of all consumers.|
|JRC Directorate:||Institute for Health and Consumer Protection Historical Collection|
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