The natural health supplements or dietary supplements comprise a broad variety of products including everything from herbal supplements, vitamins, minerals to animal products like omega 3 fatty acids to probiotics. In Canada, these products are regulated under a specific set of regulations—the Natural Health Products Regulations. Products must undergo assessment for quality, safety and efficacy. This is done through an online submission process with permissible claims supported by Health Canada monographs. Producers of natural health supplements who wish to make novel claims not supported through the monograph process must submit a full dossier of evidence for review.
Importance of Research on natural health supplements
For the general public, it is very common to find the phrase “clinically proven” especially in advertisements and on product labels. It is clear that companies use this phrase without any regard for real meaning in the direct-to-consumer marketplace. For healthcare professionals the term ‘clinical’ means ‘clinical trials’ and would assume when a company uses the phrase “clinically proven,” the product has been tested in clinical trials.
In clinical research various aspects of investigational products are tested including safety and efficacy. Refine Naturals™’ research team, based on decades of pharmaceutical research experience, knows how to differentiate trustworthy clinical data versus misleading health information from the internet.
Natural Health Supplements Quality, Safety and Efficacy
Quality is an important aspect of NHPs as contamination and misidentification presents a challenge, especially with botanical extracts. The presence of adulterants and contaminants of both a biological and chemical nature in supplements is also challenging. Analytical methods and reference standards are lacking for many of the thousands of different ingredients in NHPs. We at Refine Naturals™ ensure all our products have been tested rigorously for any contamination. We do this by sourcing active ingredients directly to ensure strictest quality control at the origin. To prevent any adulteration, all our products are manufactured in GMP certified facilities.
Apart from concerns related to product quality, safety of NHPs is another concern. Most of the side effects of NHPs are dose related or are caused by interactions of ingredients with other ingredients or prescription drugs. All Refine Naturals™ products adhere to Health Canada guidelines regarding the dosages and ensure ingredients are carefully chosen to minimise the interactions.
The next important aspect of natural health supplements is its efficacy, which is the most debated topic in research related to natural health products. While considering various ingredients for Refine Naturals™ Products, we ensured that we only pick those ingredients which have shown their efficacy in strong scientific evidence while carefully considering different aspects of efficacy like study designs, significance testing, appropriate outcomes and the differences between statistical and clinical significance.
At Refine Naturals™, we realize that not all natural health supplements are created equal. We have concentrated our expertise in choosing quality and evidence based medicinal as well as non-medicinal ingredients. We keep our labels and marketing practices compliant to advertising standards, so as to never mislead consumers in their decision making.
At Refine Naturals™, we believe “You Deserve Better than FINE!”
- Dwyer, J. T., Coates, P. M., & Smith, M. J. (2018). Dietary Supplements: Regulatory Challenges and Research Resources. Nutrients, 10(1), 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10010041
- Canada, H. (2015, May 12). Government of Canada. Retrieved July 12, 2020, from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/natural-non-prescription/legislation-guidelines/guidance-documents/quality-guide.html