Research Article: Spectroscopic and Spectrometric Methods Used for the Screening of Certain Herbal Food Supplements Suspected of Adulteration

Date Published: June 30, 2017

Publisher: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences

Author(s): Cristina Mateescu, Anca Mihaela Popescu, Gabriel Lucian Radu, Tatiana Onisei, Adina Elena Raducanu.


Purpose: This study was carried out in order to find a reliable method for the fast detection of adulterated herbal food supplements with sexual enhancement claims. As some herbal products are advertised as “all natural”, their “efficiency” is often increased by addition of active pharmaceutical ingredients such as PDE-5 inhibitors, which can be a real health threat for the consumer.

Partial Text

During the last period, the consumption of herbal food supplements meant to improve sexual performance has seen a considerable increase. Most consumers trust “100% Natural” advertised products considering them as safe and side effects free.1 In spite of consumers’belief, this category of herbal supplements could be “tainted” with legal drugs such as: sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, as well as their analogues. Unfortunately, all these substances were not tested from pharmacological or pharmacokinetic point of view.2,3

The screening performed on a total number of 50 herbal food supplements promoted as natural aphrodisiacs emphasised that 11 samples (22% of the analyzed products) were adulterated with pharmaceuticals compounds (PDE-5 inhibitors and their analogues) or chemical substances (phenolphthalein).

The work has been funded by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013 of the Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection through the Financial Agreement POSDRU/107/1.5/S/76903.

Not applicable.

The authors declare no conflict of interests.




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