What are Natural Health Products?
Natural health products (NHPS) are defined as substances that occur naturally and who have the ability to support and restore optimal health. Most of these types of products are made from plants; however there are a number of NHPS that are created from microorganism, animals, and marine resources.
Alternative, or complementary, medicines are other monikers for natural health products. In addition, there are a ton of everyday products e.g. shampoo, antiperspirant, toothpaste, moisturizers, mouthwash etc. that are considered to be natural health products.
Natural Health Products Regulations
Natural health products are regulated and determined to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The standards that the FDA uses to determine the quality of these types of products are called the Natural Health Products Regulations.
Natural health products are continuously being improved by the governments of developed nations who have come up with a new method that ensures the production quality products. This new approach serves to reduce the excessive red tape that companies must follow in order to export their products to the various marketplaces.
Natural Health Products in Depth
NHPS create value in the marketplace due to their abilities to treat or prevent illness as well as reduce health risks and to maintain good health.
Possible Risks to Using Natural Health Products
Most of the time, natural health products are safe for consumer use and produce, virtually, no side effects. However, it is important to note, that they are not totally risk free. Some potentials risks of taking natural health products include:
• Manufacturing Issues: This can be anything from contamination of the formula to the use of the wrong ingredients.
• Claims that haven’t been proven: These can mislead consumers who are looking for relief from serious conditions and cause them to use the wrong products to treat their illnesses.
• Lack of Information: This can cause consumers to make uninformed choices. An example of this would be no instructions that indicate that a product cannot be used by certain members of the population.
• Drug Interactions: Some natural health products may not interact well with some prescription and natural medicines• Unexpected Side Effects: This can include allergic reactions that vary in severity.
Can Natural Health Products Be Used Safely?
Some tips are listed below in order to help minimize the risks that may be associated with the use of natural health products:
• Make a note of all the prescription, over the counter and natural health products (and their interactions) to prevent adverse reactions.
• Only use natural health products that are approved by official health groups like the FDA.
• Do your research on any products sound as if they are too good to be true.
• Before use, be sure to read all instructions and follow them to the letter.
What the United States is Doing to Ensure Protection
Before they can become licensed in the USA, natural health products must be effective, safe, quality made, and provide detailed information that will help consumers make informed decisions.
If a natural health care product has been licensed for use in the United States, it will carry the FDA’s label of approval. This label indicates that the product is safe and effective; if used properly. In addition, the government also performs post market monitoring to make sure the FDA regulations continue to be followed.