16395[Meditation Society of America] Re: food controversy
- Oct 15, 2008--- In email@example.com, sean tremblay
>yogic/vedic/ayurvedic web site sponered by the Indian Gov. I say a
> Has there been any news on the formation of a free
program on the topc and It ws supposed to counter the profiteering of
India's cultural inheritence. But I have not found the sight.
> Any body have a bead on that?Yo Sean,
While Googleing about Ayurvedic web sites,
I found then below copied info. And just when
I was about to order one of my favorites:
Chwayn Prash, which i have found
to be an excellent "wake me up" that has no
crash at all.
'Ayurvedic' Medicines May Contain Lead, Mercury or Arsenic
August 26 (HealthDay News) -- About one in five
ayurvedic medicine products purchased on the
Internet contain significant levels of lead,
mercury or arsenic, a new study finds.
The researchers found that products manufactured
in the United States were even more likely to
contain the metals than those made in India, where
the ayurvedic approach was first developed centuries
ago. Furthermore, 75 percent of the products containing
lead, mercury or arsenic advertised that they were
manufactured using "Good Manufacturing Practices,"
which is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
regulation meant to ensure quality.
"We randomly purchased 193 traditional Indian
(ayurvedic) medicine products from the Internet.
About 60 percent were from U.S. companies and 40
percent from Indian companies. Twenty-one percent
had significant levels of lead, mercury and arsenic,"
said the study's lead author, Dr. Robert B. Saper, an
assistant professor of family medicine at Boston
University School of Medicine, and director of
integrative medicine at Boston Medical Center.
In high levels, these metals can be toxic.
Results of the study are published in the Aug. 27
issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian practice that
combines the use of numerous modalities, such as
herbal medicine, massage and special diets, to promote
wellness and prevent illness, according to the U.S.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative
There are two common practices in ayurveda -- either
herbal medicine alone, or herbal medicines combined
with metals and gems, a practice known as rasa shastra.
In rasa shastra, herbs are combined with metals such
as lead, mercury, iron and zinc, and gems such as
pearl. Those that practice this type of ayurveda believe
it is safe and therapeutic, according to the study.
Saper said that "many traditional Indian practitioners
believe quite strongly that if rasa shastra is done
correctly, it is safe," that he feels these practices
should be "seriously called into question." Saper also
said that he doesn't believe anyone should deliberately
ingest lead, mercury or arsenic.
The current study included 193 products randomly
selected and purchased over the Internet. The researchers
found that 20.7 percent contained metals. The rate in
U.S. manufactured products was 21.7 percent, and in
Indian products, it was 19.5 percent.
Not surprisingly, almost 41 percent of rasa shastra
products had a greater prevalence of metals, including
high levels of lead and mercury. "Several Indian-manufactured
rasa shastra medicines could result in lead and/or
mercury ingestions 100 to 10,000 times greater than
acceptable limits," the researchers wrote.
Seventy-five percent of the products claimed to be
manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices.
Products made by members of the American Herbal
Products Association (AHPA) were less likely to
contain metals, according to the study.
Michael McGuffin, president of the AHPA, said, "It's
not an accident that AHPA members performed better.
We've called our members attention to the presence of
heavy metals in plant materials. Lead is ubiquitous.
It's in the soil and in the plants. I don't think you
can get these levels to zero, but it is the manufacturers'
responsibility to know the amount and to limit it."
AHPA also recommends that its members don't manufacture
rasa shastra products.
Saper said that the FDA hasn't currently set a maximum
level allowed for lead, mercury and arsenic in dietary
supplements, but he believes they should.
McGuffin recommended buying products made by members
of AHPA, because the study found they were least likely
to contain metals, and he said consumers should call
the makers of their medicines and "ask tough questions."
He said if you call a company and ask what their limits
are for lead, and the representative says they don't
know, that's a red flag.
SOURCES: Robert B. Saper, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, family
medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and director,
integrative medicine, Boston Medical Center, Mass.; Michael McGuffin,
president, American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Md.;
Aug. 27, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association
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