You might have heard that taking certain non-prescription supplements containing herbs, plants, and other "natural" ingredients can help do everything from boost your metabolism to aid depression symptoms. But now the New York Attorney General's is calling for Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and GNC to stop selling several of its herbal supplements after discovering that many of the pills were 100 percent phony.
According to a press release form the New York Attorney General's Office, scientists found that just 21 percent of the supplements tested actually had DNA from the plants they were supposed to contain. That means 79 percent didn't contain any of the herbs they said they featured.
Additionally, 35 percent of the products tested contained plants such as rice, wheat, beans, and pine that weren't listed on the labels. And that could be super dangerous for those with allergies.
"The DNA test results seem to confirm long-standing questions about the herbal supplement industry." says New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a press release. "Mislabeling, contamination, and false advertising are illegal. They also pose unacceptable risks."
Keeping in mind that scientists did not test every herbal supplement available at these stores, here are the supplements that contained little to none of the ingredients on the label:
Herbal Plus brand Gingko Biloba, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto
Up & Up rand Gingko Biloba, St. John's Wort, Valerian Root, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto
Finest Nutrition brand Gingko Biloba, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto
Spring Valley brand Gingko Biloba, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto
If you're worried about missing out on important nutrients by skipping supplements--which we now know might have no nutritional value anyway--experts recommend adding more nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy products, and seafood to you diet.
WOMEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE