• Quality and safety of products containing Ephedra Herba on the Dutch market

      Lake OA; Slijkhuis C; Maas WF; van Vliet MEA; de Kaste D; Verdonk-Kleinjan W; LGO (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu RIVMKeuringsdienst van Warenregio Zuid, 2001-11-26)
      We performed analytical studies on dietary supplements and smart products containing Ephedra herba on the Dutch market. Such products are labelled 'from natural, herbal sources' and do not fall under Dutch Medicines Act. Most of the samples tested from 1993 to 1999 contained unacceptably large amounts of ephedrine (EP) alkaloids (the active substances of Ephedra herba) in relation to the safety criteria in the literature. Some samples also contained an effect-enhancing substance (e.g. coffeine), thus potentiating the risks of adverse events. Samples both 'from herbal sources' and 'not from herbal sources' were encountered, and the contents of EP alkaloids varied from product to product, as well as within a product. This project shows that there is a need to improve the safety and quality of these products in view of public health.<br>