1. What are NHPs and how are they regulated?
NHPs are natural health products.
They are secondary metabolites that have some sort of active ingredient to them
that provide a health benefit.
They include substances such as herbs, minerals, fish oils, vitamins, essential
fatty acids, plant, homeopathic, microorganisms, and animal derived products.
Natural health products are not standardized drugs, and are regulated by the
Natural Health Product Directorate (NHPD)
Europe regulated as drugs
Canada separate from drugs, regulated as NHPs
Australia separate from drugs, regulated as
Complementary and Alternative medicines
US allowed to make medicinal claims,
regulated as “dietary supplements
Asia drugs, traditional Chinese medicines.
In Canada: NHPs are OTC. Legalized if they are safe and of good quality,
traditional evidence of use for 50 years, or if scientific evidence of efficacy
is supplied. (PASSED IN 2004 BY MINISTER OF HEALTH - ALLAN ROCK)
In Canada NHPs are not regularly checked for safety, but the substance is quickly
withdrawn from the market if there is any report of it being unsafe.
To be able to sell a NHP, you must apply for a license which gives you an NPN# or
DIN-HP# for homeopathy.
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian system?
The main strengths: recognizes different cultures’ practices, allows indigenous
people to practise their rituals. Main weaknesses: products are not very well regulated for safety, there is a lack
of standardization, some products make medicinal claims that might not live up to
3. What is the market for NHPs?
Used mainly for: sports, energy, weight loss, general health, cold/flu-immune, join
Cold/Flu Vitamin C, multivitamins
Heart Health Fish oils, Garlic
Gastrointestinal Digestive enzymes, probiotics
Brain/Mental Condtion Ginkgo, fish oils
Anti-cancer Multivitamins, noni juice
4. Who uses NHPs and why?
→ Mainly people with high level of education
→ People with high salaries
→ People over the age of 40
→ West of Canada
Reasons for use: better than chemical drugs, concerned about overall health, maintain/promote
5. What are Nutraceuticals/medicinal foods?
Functional foods – foods that have high components of medicinal benefit
Nutraceuticals – any product derived from foods containing substances with health
Health Canada is trying to discourage NHP delivery in food format because it makes
it readily available for people that maybe should not be taking that supplement.
6. What is Flax and what is it used for? Flax is a nutraceutical crop (flax seeds)
Used to prevent breast, colon, and prostate cancer
Modulates sex hormone metabolism, and cell proliferation
The main lignan in flax is SDG, which is metabolized by Enterdiol (formed in vivo)
7. What are the savings with functional foods for cancer?
8. What is Golden rice used for?
Golden rice can be genetically modified to have vitamin A (beta carotene) in it. This
vitamin is beneficial for helping maintain eyesight, which is very useful for people in
Getting this approved takes a lot of time because it is genetically modified.
9. What are some controversial substances?
Redbull – high content of caffeine to remain alert, but it is advertized as a party drink
so if you mix it with alcohol you can die
Noni juice – highly advertized to cure every possible disease, but in reality it is not so
Nicotine drinks – help quit smoking, but you are still addicted to nicotine LECTURE 2
1. What is the origin of botanical medicines, ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology?
Differentiate between each.
Ethnobotany – how people use plants for medicine, technology, food, spirituality.
Ethnopharmacology – the study of biological activity and phytochemistry of
traditionally used plants
The origin of botanical medicine stems from tribe healers, who use plants for
WHO now integrates traditional medicine and modern medicine.
2. What is the traditional and modern medicine systems using botanical medicines?
Traditional Important Plants Modern
Indigenous American Ginseng – lowers blood Healers can remember
sugar 800-1000 species of
Echinacea – boosts immune system specialists. Today we
to ward of infections use their medicinal
Muskrat root – cold/flu remedy, clear plants to develop our
Ayahuasca – hallucinogen for ritual
Cat’s claw – treats mild arthritis
(active principle: mitraphylline)
Asian Ayurveda Today TCM is a fully
regulated profession in
Traditional Chinese Medicine BC, ONT, NFLD with
European Naturopathy – natural products Naturopathy=NHPs
where the more you use the
Homeopathy = Canada
greater the effect has no problem
Homeopathy – highly dilute plant approving it because
extracts the substance is so dilute it has little effect.
N. America Complementary&alternative Herbal products were
medicine – acupuncture, TCM, delisted as drugs
homeopathy, chelation therapy,
3. How did antimalarial drugs evolve?
Medicinal bark, quina quina, which miraculously cured malaria for Countess Cinchon
Quality issues led to adoption of Jesuit bark (most widely traded form of quina quina)
1900s- isolated quinine more effective than bark
1940s – semisynthetic chloroquine (became resistant)
1990s-mefloquine developed to overcome resistance (strong psychological effects)
2000s- artemisinin was developed and is 1000 times more effective than quinine.
Hallucinogen for spiritual healing
2 botanical components: “Caapi” and “Yage”
DMT in Yage binds to the 5-HT receptor to activate the hallucinogen. Harmine found
in Caapi inhibits the MOA enzyme, which destroys DMT in the stomach allowing for
oral uptake of the drug.
The hallucinogen distorts perception of time and space = perception of flight. In
reality, you are throwing up the entire time (3 days)
Ayahuasca in modern practise was found to have the ability to cure addictions.
5. What is the origin and nature of natural products found in botanical medicines?
Natural products come from organisms that are low in the food chain which are
unable to move or defend themselves physically so they make substances that can
defend them instead.
Arm’s race – plant develops a new drug and the bug eating the plant eventually
becomes resistant to the drug so the plant has to make a new drug again. Primary metabolite – substances like ChI – same in all organisms
Secondary metabolite (phytochemicals) – no basic physiological role in host,
different in each species
Major Secondary Derived from How they Look
Alkaloids Amino acids
Terpenoids Mevalonate Minor Secondary Metabolites
Acetylene Fatty Acids
Non-protein amino acids Amino Acids
Cyanogens, Glucoscinolate LECTURE 3
1. Explain the process of manufacturing herbal natural products.
The crop is harvested
Root washing: done to get rid of contamination
Drying: the herbal product has to be dried to preserve its active ingredients. If it is not
dried, it must go straight to extraction. Heat (IR) is used to dry berries. Drying must
occur at low temperatures because high temperatures denature the active ingredient.
Industrial spray drier is used for water-based extracts (prone to oxidation, but cheap)
Milling: dry material is cut.
Packaging: the herbal material is stored in bulk to prevent oxidation, which eliminates
the active ingredient.
Extraction - Alcohol extraction (used without drying) – alcohol extract is consumed
directly, so the alcohol has to be removed by evaporation.
Preparation of dosage: softgel capsules are prepared with liquid inside because they
are easy to swallow.
Material is packaged, locenges inspected.
- Fungi/mold <10^4
- Aerobic bacteria<10^5
- Ecoli – abscent
- Heavy metals < tolerance