Selected Podcast

What's Really in Your Supplement? How to Spot Herbal Frauds

Earlier in February, you might remember reading that The Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA) advised caution over a New York Attorney General's claim that a large retail store's brand of herbal supplements may not actually contain the herbs they advertise.

What can you do to ensure you're buying and using a trusted product?

Tip #1: Always read the label. One way to compare ingredients in different products is by using the Dietary Supplement Labels Database, maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

Tip #2: Do your research or talk to a health professional. Some supplements interact with one another and with different medications—sometimes well, and sometimes not. Moreover, some supplements should be taken in combination with others; for example, calcium needs to be taken with vitamins D3 and K2, or the calcium may migrate to the heart or circulatory system where it does damage, rather than to the bones where it is needed. A trained health professional can offer important advice.

Tip #3: Talk to your supplement manufacturer. A reputable supplement manufacturer will always have a phone number where they can answer your questions about their ingredients, including where they come from and what safety procedures are in place.

Tip #4: Check the FDA's supplement website. This database warns the public about tainted supplements—the "bad actors" of the industry—that contain illegal pharmaceuticals or deceptively labeled ingredients. These products may be promoted for weight loss, sexual enhancement, and bodybuilding. The FDA also offers an RSS feed so consumers can be kept up to date with late-breaking additions to the database.

Gretchen DuBeau, Executive Director, Alliance for Natural Health USA, joins Dr. Mike to discuss the latest issue surrounding herbal supplements, as well as what you can do to ensure you're buying and using the right product.
What's Really in Your Supplement? How to Spot Herbal Frauds
Featured Speaker:
Gretchen DuBeauGretchen DuBeau joined the Alliance for Natural Health USA (formerly the American Association for Health Freedom) as Executive and Legal Director in 2008.

A lifelong environmentalist and devotee to natural health and healing, Gretchen has found the perfect culmination of her interests at ANH-USA, where she works to shift the current medical paradigm to one that embraces real preventive and integrative medicine as the standard of care.

Gretchen also serves as President and Executive Director of the Praktikos Institute, and as Advocacy Coordinator for ANH-International. In 2014, she was appointed President of the Axios Institute.

She is an attorney and practiced environmental law and policy for five years before joining ANH to work on natural and sustainable health issues.

Gretchen holds a Masters Degree in Applied Healing Arts. She supports the Integrative Medicine Consortium (IMC) as the Public Affairs Chair and the Public Policy Co-chair, serves as Board Advisor to the International College for Integrative Medicine (ICIM), and joined the boards of the ANH-USA in 2010; the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS), where she serves as Treasurer, in 2011; ANH-International and the Institute for Responsible Technology in 2012; and the Praktikos Institute in 2014.