Nobody likes filler, but the sad truth is that it is present in everything from music and TV shows to herbal supplements. The herbal supplements in stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, and GNC have been found to contain almost no traces of the substances as they claim – thy are full of ingredients which are not on their labels!
The herbs that are listed on the labels of the products are usually replaced by wheat and soy powder, and in some cases, even houseplants were found in the products. According to the New York Times, 4 out of 5 herbal supplements tested were found problematic.
This is just one of the examples: GNS’s Herbal Plus supplements were deemed “unrecognizable or a substance other than what they claimed to be.” They contained rice, asparagus and spruce, which is sad knowing that the supplements cost $50 per bottle.
Target’s Up and Up brand was also disappointing – their St. John’s Wort and Gingko Biloba supplements contained powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots, which lead to the New York Attorney General’s Office to issue a cease and desist orders for many of the brands. Here’s what was written to Michael G. Archbold, GNC CEO: “Of late, the topic of purity (or lack thereof) in popular herbal dietary supplements has raised serious public health and safety concerns and also caused this office to take steps to independently assess the validity of industry representations and advertising.”
The letter also requested that GNC names the manufacturer as well as the production locations of the herbal products under investigation.
And, although many supplements performed awfully, it was actually Walmart’s products that fared the worst. NONE of their supplements were found to contain what was written on their labels!
According to experts, this happens because of the lack of regulation in the health supplement industry. Two doctors named Donald Marcus and Arthur Grollman wrote a report in 2012 which warned that not regulating the herbal supplement industry was bound to have adverse effects. A Canadian study found that a third of the herbal supplements contained almost no traces of the advertised content, so instead of using them, try using actual herbs which can be found easily in health stores around the country.