Botanical dietary supplements, such as green tea extract and black cohosh, are regularly used by Americans, but recent public concern has raised questions about their safety. NTP is working to identify any adverse health effects that may occur from taking botanicals.
In April 2016, NTP hosted a workshop to discuss current knowledge about the safety of botanicals and what research gaps may exist. The workshop brought together representatives of federal agencies, industry, and research institutions to examine this issue. One of the issues the workshop reviewed was how a well-characterized reference botanical may relate to its peers in the marketplace. NTP toxicologist Cynthia Rider, Ph.D., presented case studies on Ginkgo biloba, black cohosh extract, and Echinacea purpurea extract. The case studies highlighted complex study issues, such as the number of botanical supplement constituents, the large fraction of constituents that may be unidentified, and the multiple interactions that could occur between constituents.
The workshop helped highlight issues and considered paths forward in research. For more information on this workshop, go to the NTP workshop website. NTP will continue its work on botanical dietary supplements in FY 2017.