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The Importance of Only Using High-Quality Supplements

6 November, 2017

The Importance of Only Using High-Quality Supplements.jpgRecent research has discovered that some supplements on the market don't contain the levels of active ingredients they claim to have. Hence, the importance of only using high-quality supplements. 

Rhodiola Rosea is an herb that has many health benefits. It is classified as a ‘adaptogenic herb’ which means that it must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Safe with no contraindications or major side effects.
  • Has a non-specific, general action to improve the body’s ability to resist stress.
  • Has an ‘homeostatic effect’ in the body. This means it balances and normalises body functions, meaning that if a particular hormone is high, then adaptogens lower levels of the hormone. However, if a hormone is low, adaptogens have a normalising effect by increasing the hormone.

There have been several studies on Rhodiola rosea. In particular, it has been shown to [1,2]:

  • Help reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improve energy
  • Help overcome feelings associated with ‘burnout’
  • Improve sports performance and recovery from exercise
  • Improve mood and lower symptoms of depression

Unfortunately, a recent study published in the journal ‘Phytomedicine’ has revealed that several commercial products claiming to contain Rhodiola Rosea either do not contain any Rhodiola Rosea or have been adulterated (modified) in some way [3]. This is alarming as Rhodiola Rosea is a truly beneficial herb which has solid clinical support (when the studies use the ‘real stuff’).

The researchers analysed 40 commercial products claiming to contain Rhodiola Rosea and found that approximately one quarter of unregistered Rhodiola products were either adulterated or contained low levels of rosavin (an active ingredient in Rhodiola Rosea). These products simply did not conform to their label specification. In addition to this, around 80% of products were reported to be of poor quality.

While this study was based on mostly European-based products which do not necessarily require registration or testing prior to their release for sale to the public, it is certainly very concerning. Fortunately, in Australia standards for herbal products are far more stringent and testing prior to release for sale is essential for TGA-listed products.

It is recommended that if you are purchasing an herbal product, such as Rhodiola Rosea, make sure it is listed with the Australian TGA (Therapeutic Goods Adminsitration). You can easily work this out as all TGA-listed products must have an ‘AUST L’ number on the label. We also recommend you ensure that the Rhodiola Rosea is sourced from a reputable company.