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Nutrition for Optimal Wellness

Heavy Metals In Herbals

By Lou DeMers, NOW Quality Assurance Department

A heavy metal survey on current inventory lots of 40 herbal ingredients used in NOW supplements was undertaken recently to determine compliance with the California Proposition 65 recommended maximum daily limits.
The California Proposition 65 has recommended Reproductive and Carcinogenic maximum limits for many toxins, including the heavy metals Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury.  According to this monograph, the maximum daily intake limits for these metals are as follows:
Arsenic – Carcinogenic limit of 0.01mg/day
Cadmium – Reproductive limit of 0.0041mg/day
Lead – Reproductive limit of 0.0005mg/day
Mercury – Reproductive limit of 0.0003mg/day
A calculation utilizing the assay result and product label recommended daily intake amounts definitively show all 40 to be well below the Proposition 65 daily intake limits for all four heavy metals.  A few examples will illustrate:
Saw Palmetto Berry Powder
Arsenic - < 0.00165mg/day;
Cadmium - < 0.00165mg/day;
Lead - < 0.000165mg/day;
Mercury - < 0.0000165mg/day
Chamomile Whole
Arsenic - < 0.0005mg/day;  
Cadmium - < 0.00007mg/day;
Lead - < 0.0001mg/day;
Mercury - < 0.00002mg/day
Ginger Extract Powder
Arsenic - < 0.0002175mg/day;
Cadmium - < 0.00051mg/day;
Lead - < 0.0001575mg/day; 
Mercury - < 0.0000036mg/day
NOW Foods takes great care to ensure the quality of its products and ingredients. These results confirm through testing that all our current lots of materials have passed the most restrictive standards for heavy metals in the industry; the California Proposition 65 requirements.