Navigation Links
Study: DNA barcoding can ID natural health products
Date:9/19/2012

DNA barcoding developed by University of Guelph researchers has proven up to 88 per cent effective in authenticating natural health products, according to a new U of G study.

The study appears in the latest issue of Food Research International.

It's a crucial finding because the health product industry is under-regulated worldwide and mislabelling poses economic, health, legal and environmental implications, says study author Mehrdad Hajibabaei.

"Currently there is no other broadly applicable tool that can identify the species used in both animal and plant natural health products as rapidly and cost-effectively," said Hajibabaei, a U of G integrative biology professor and director of technology development for the Guelph-based Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO).

Up to about 80 per cent of people in developed countries use natural health products, including vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies. In Canada, these products have been regulated since 2004. But regulators face a backlog of licence applications, and thousands of products on the market lack a full product licence. In the U.S. and the U.K., regulatory problems involving natural health products have affected consistency and safety.

Authenticating natural product capsules or tablets -- containing dried fragments rather than whole specimens -- poses challenges.

DNA barcoding allows scientists to use short standardized regions of genetic material to identify species and compare them to reference genetic sequences, said Hajibabaei.

The technique works for all life stages and even for fragments of organisms, allowing scientists to ID even dried contents of a small pill.

"DNA barcoding provides a simple and efficient method for accurate identification and can play a key role in developing a more robust protocol for their regulation," Hajibabaei said.

For the study, researchers tested 95 plant and animal products bought in Toronto and New York City. Samples included capsules, tablets, roots, extracts, teas and shredded products. The researchers also sampled for products containing widely used shark tissue or ginseng.

Fully 81 per cent of natural health products made from animals correctly matched their commercial label. The rest contained everything from cheaper alternatives to fragments of protected species. One product labelled as tiger shark fins actually contained a catfish species.

Several of the identified shark species are on the "red list" of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Half of the plant products labelled as Korean ginseng which is more expensive and is sold for different medicinal benefits than other types were really American ginseng.

Besides Hajibabaei, the study was headed by Lauren Wallace, a former President's Scholar at U of G and now a doctoral student at McMaster University. Wallace received a summer research fellowship from the Ontario Genomics Institute in 2010 to work on the BIO project.

Other researchers were Stephanie Boilard, now a technician in Hajibabaei's lab; graduate students Shannon Eagle and Jennifer Spall; and post-doc Shadi Shokralla.

Three of the researchers were using DNA barcoding for the first time. "Ultimately, the study showcases the utility of DNA barcodes for use in the real world," Hajibabaei said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Prof. Mehrdad Hajibabaei Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
mhajibab@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x52487
University of Guelph
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Joint UT study: Reading food labels helps shoppers stay thinner
2. Study: How a high-fat diet and estrogen loss leads women to store more abdominal fat than men
3. New study: Running mechanics, not metabolism, are the key to performance for elite sprinters
4. New study: Raisins as effective as sports chews for fueling workouts
5. RIH study: Emergency patients prefer technology-based interventions for behavioral issues
6. Study: Wolverines need refrigerators
7. New study: Snacking on raisins significantly reduces overall post-meal blood sugar levels
8. Study: No-fat, low-fat dressings dont get most nutrients out of salads
9. Study: Seeping Arctic methane has serious implications for Florida coastline
10. Study: Seeking Arctic methane has serious implications for Florida coastline
11. Study: In-patient, out-patient stroke rehab might benefit from yoga
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce the attainment ... are the result of the company,s laser focus on ... , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based ... Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... DUBLIN , January 13, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... - Estimation & Forecast (2015-2020)" ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7h6hnn/india_biometrics ) has announced the ... & Identification Market - Estimation & ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... Jan. 7, 2016 This BCC Research report ... biometric technologies and devices, identifying newer markets and exploring ... types of biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 to ... newer markets and explore the expansion of the present ... each type of biometric technology, determine its current market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... DELHI , February 8, 2016 ... Invictus Oncology Private Limited, an innovation-driven oncology company ... effective and less toxic, today announced that chairman ... Tata, has invested in the company as part ... financing round, joining existing investors Navam Capital and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  BioElectronics Corporation ... medical devices, announced today that it is responding ... proceedings from the Securities and Exchange Commission posted ... Staelin , Chairman of the Board of BioElectronics ... of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Franz Inc. ... Graph Database technology, today announced the availability of AllegroGraph 6, the leading Semantic ... Cloudera Certified Technology Program (CCPT). AllegroGraph is the first Semantic Graph ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new website has gone live. On Thursday, Feb. ... Visit the new site: www.diplomat.is ... ... ... "The goal was to reimagine the website and create a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: