J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Oct; 97(10 Suppl 2): S208-15.
A review of some herbal and related products commonly used in cancer patients.
Boca Raton Community Hospital Inc., Fla 33486, USA.
In light of the research in progress on the benefits of various phytochemicals in foods, it appears feasible that the chemical compounds from herbs also could be helpful in prevention or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Prior to 1994, the burden of proving that a product was not harmful was the manufacturer's responsibility. Now the FDA has to prove beyond a doubt that the product is unsafe to remove it from the market. Product standardization is optional at this point, and substitution with less expensive herbs presents a risk. The FDA soon will publish a proposal for good manufacturing practices that was developed by a coalition of supplement organizations to assist in establishing quality control. Dietetics professionals can contribute value in this area by talking with patients, keeping interested physicians informed, and maintaining information on alternative therapies.