Stockton, CA (PRWEB) June 9, 2008
Consumers shopping the dietary supplement aisle and healthcare professionals advising patients using natural medicines face difficult questions. Of the hundreds or thousands of products on the shelf or online, which ones work? Are they safe? Do they even contain the ingredients listed on the label?
Over 20% of the population uses one or more dietary supplement, natural medicine, herbal or homeopathic product, despite the fact there is no accepted system to evaluate these products. Consumers and medical professionals have made selections based on advertising claims rather than solid, scientific evidence.
Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements do not have to be proven safe or effective before they reach store shelves. In recent months, over 40 dietary supplement products were found to be contaminated with potentially dangerous drugs, heavy metals, or kidney toxins.
The new Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER™) system now gives close to 30,000 brand name supplements an overall rating based on scientific evidence. This system fills a huge void and answers important questions about the safety, effectiveness, and quality of natural medicine commercial products.
NMBER™ is the culmination of meticulous analyses of over 16,000 studies. This analysis took over a decade to complete. By scrutinizing research results published from around the world, researchers at Therapeutic Research Center have been able to assign evidence-based Safety Ratings and Effectiveness Ratings for the natural ingredients contained in commercial natural medicine dietary supplement products.
Additionally, these researchers assess product manufacturing quality data directly from adverse event reporting systems, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and from regulatory agencies around the world.
Based on these safety and effectiveness ratings and quality reports, each commercial product is assigned a Natural Medicine Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER™) from 1 to 10. Products rated with the lower numbers are not recommended for use due to potential safety concerns or product quality problems. Products with the highest ratings contain ingredients that have undergone sufficient studies and have shown positive results. There are 820 products that have been given a NMBER™ rating of "1." Only 250 products have been rated "10."
Phil Gregory, PharmD, Editor of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database says, "Medical professionals as well as consumers need to know which dietary supplement products are safe, effective, and manufactured and labeled properly. Many have hoped for a long time that the FDA or other reliable organization would provide this needed information. The new NMBER™ system fills this huge void in healthcare. It will help consumers and professionals avoid unsafe, ineffective products, and make it easier to find high-quality products."
Medical professionals and consumers can look up product ratings by using the NMBER™ system in conjunction with Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Professionals access this database at http://www.naturaldatabase.com and consumers access a similar resource presented in a consumer-friendly format at http://www.naturaldatabaseconsumer.com. Both are subscription-based.
More information on NMBER™ is available at http://NMBER.therapeuticresearch.com.
In order to keep up with new products coming onto the market, around 250 new commercial products are added to the Database each month.
Therapeutic Research Center and its publications adhere to strict policies to assure unbiased ratings and data. The faculty and the publications never accept any advertising. The faculty is independent from any drug or supplement manufacturer. Editors are not allowed to own stock in any supplement or drug manufacturer, or otherwise have any vested interest in any drug or supplement product.
About Therapeutic Research
Therapeutic Research is a completely independent research and publishing organization that provides evidence-based information for physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, and other medical professionals. Therapeutic Research publishes Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Pharmacist's Letter, Prescriber's Letter, Pharmacy Technician's Letter, Ident-A-Drug Reference, and a variety of continuing medical education courses including live courses. Therapeutic Research accepts no advertising and provides objective information for subscribers on a subscription basis.
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