Identification and Detection of Undeclared Herbal Slimming Adulterants

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Mohammad Kamil


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to stop using multiple weight-loss products that contain the undeclared drug ingredients e.g. sibutramine, which was removed from the market in 2010 for safety reasons and may present significant risks for those with coronary artery disease and other heart issues. Sibutramine and similar undeclared ingredients in herbal medicines are a real challenge for the public health and safety. In recent years, the need for quality assurance tools to ensure the identity, purity, and quality of botanical material has risen dramatically. HPTLC has emerged as a versatile, high throughput, and cost-effective technology, that is uniquely suited to meet these requirements. Most separation techniques do not allow parallel analysis of numerous samples at the same time and they often face problems in separating complex mixtures of substances. However, visual evaluation of HPTLC plates allows for convenient comparison of many samples side by side, where similarities and differences can clearly be seen. The quality of raw materials is rapidly and easily determined by HPTLC. For the identification of herbal drugs and other naturally derived materials standardized HPTLC is the method of choice and recommended by pharmacopoeias worldwide, furthermore adulterated samples are reliably identified. The main objective of the present study is to check pharmaceutical analogue adulteration of nonprescription and prescription slimming products in the laboratory using chromatographic techniques and to discuss its side effects in the interest of consumers and public health safety. Since intentional adulteration of “natural herbalmedicines” with unknown synthetic drugs or chemicals is a common and dangerous phenomenon of alternative medicine, it is important to modify and validate analytical tools to monitor and evaluate these herbal drugs.

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How to Cite
Kamil M. Identification and Detection of Undeclared Herbal Slimming Adulterants. IJPE [Internet]. 31Oct.2016 [cited 11Apr.2021];2(1 and 2):73-8. Available from:
Review Article