Investigating the Regulatory Process, Safety, Efficacy and Product Transparency for Nutraceuticals in the USA, Europe and Australia
Jan 23, 2023
Increased numbers of patients with chronic conditions use nutraceuticals or food-based therapeutics. However, to date, there is no global consensus on the regulatory processes for nutraceuticals. With the increased use, issues of quality and safety have also arisen. This review summarises the current regulations held for nutraceuticals in the USA, European and Australian jurisdictions using regulatory authority sites and databases. The efficacy and safety concerns, product development, gaps in regulation and challenges in ensuring product authenticity are also summarised. The data highlight the complexity that the globalisation of nutraceuticals brings with respect to challenges in regulation and associated claims regarding efficacy and safety. The development of an effective system with integrity is needed to increase vertical collaboration between consumers, healthcare practitioners, and government agencies and the development of international risk assessment criteria and botanical compendia. This will help in greater transparency and improved trust in the process and products. Emerging technologies could play a role in improving systems engineering by information sharing and leveraging the strengths of different countries. In conclusion, nutraceuticals have been poorly regulated leading to spurious claims based on little or no real evidence. This makes it difficult to separate meaningful results from poor data. More stringent regulation and an effective system of integrity are required to ensure efficacy and safety and enable the adequate monitoring and increase consumer and healthcare professionals’ confidence.