Natural health products you should take

Taking care of one’s self has become very important to a lot of us. So it is not surprising that health products have become a big business. Natural health products have taken center stage. So how does your favorite natural health product show up on your stores shelf?

“NHPs” as they are called can include things like homeopathic medicines, traditional remedies, vitamins, minerals, enzymes,probiotics and the list goes on. But before it can show up on your store’s shelf, it needs to be reviewed and licensed. In Canada, Health Canada is the agency that grants these licenses.

The way this works now is that product manufacturers will send in to Health Canada, all the information needed, like clinical studies, product data, published studies, pharmacopoeias and anything else it needs to prove that the product does what the label says it is supposed to. The data is all reviewed by Health Canada.

Once the data is checked out, Health Canada will approve the new product for sale. It is given an eight digit National Product Number, or “NPN”. This verifies that the products claims have been shown to be true and that it is safe to use if used as directed on the label. It also shows that the product is manufactured with the right ingredients and in a suitable place.

Since products are different the approval process is different so as to be appropriate to the product. Some products require more or less evidence depending on the health claims and risks involved.

You can go to Health Canada’s web site and look up any NPN on file and see what information it has there on all the products it has an NPN for.
This may not continue however.

Concerns have been raised about the future availability of NHPs, cosmetics and non-prescription drugs because Health Canada last year proposed changes to the way these self-care products should be regulated.

Consumers and industry experts have voiced their concerns and opinions with Health Canada and Health Canada has kept an open dialog with them to discuss issues important to both. Because of this, Health Canada is still working on the proposed changes to its policies. Much has been done to clarify these issues but more still needs to be done.

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