• Login
(+27) 72 3777598


The 39th Annual Report for the year 2021 published by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, as published in the coveted U.S Toxicology Journal, indicates that a variety of natural health products did not result in any fatalities. These included recorded statistics for dietary supplements, herbal products and homoeopathic medicines.

It is worth noting that despite these findings, this information may not be widely disseminated through mainstream news channels.
Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge and examine these findings, as they pertain to the public’s well-being and the appropriate use of natural health products.

The United States of America has had the most progressive, light-handed regulatory framework for natural health products since the historic passing of The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994. As a result, it has arguably the largest selection of natural health products on the market in any country in the world.

According to two polls conducted by the American Osteopathic Association and the Council for Responsible Nutrition in 2019, between 77% and 86% of Americans had consumed natural health products during that year or took them regularly. It is estimated from this and other survey data that approximately 6 billion individual doses of natural health products are swallowed in America each year. One would expect that out of these 6 billion individual doses, there would be some deaths as a result of acute adverse reactions, yet there are none. This has been the case over many years since data has been specifically collected to record such events.

And what about South Africa?

It is no different here in South Africa where we have no verifiable recorded deaths from commercially available food supplements since 2011, when our medicines regulator known then as the Medicines Control Council (MCC), and now the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) added such products to its Adverse Drug Report Forms submitted by doctors and pharmacists, and which are collated at the National Adverse Event Drug Monitoring Centre (NADEMC), situated in Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital and attached to University of Cape Town’s Clinical Pharmacology Division. These findings were highlighted in a recent court case in which the TNHA was involved.

Pharmadynamics, in its “Hug Your Heart Campaign” survey conducted in South Africa in 2017, polled 1,837 adults, revealing that nearly half (46%) of the respondents take at least one nutritional supplement daily. The significant number is driven by the heightened interest of consumers in healthy living practices, and their desire to minimize the risk of illnesses.


Compared to pharmaceutical medicines and even commercial foods, commercial natural health products are the safest substances one can put in your mouth and swallow.

Share this page