Because It's Natural Doesn't Mean It's Safe…Or, What Could Be Wrong With Herbalife's Sesame Herb?

Topics: Drug Food Safety, Vitamins and Supplements

Nothing wrong with sesame, from toasted seeds to unsaturated roasted oil to white and black outside of our Double Sesame Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa (in Cooking the RealAge Way, on the cover!)

But Israel’s Health Ministry asked supplement king Herbalife to withdraw its Sesame Herb (see ingredients below). Eight people reported liver problems over 1.5 years–five had taken the supplement, promoted for digestion.

*The Sesame Herb product contains the following ingredients: tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, black sesame seed, mung bean, microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, silicon dioxide, lecithin, garlic powder, dextrin, cider vinegar, chickweed herb powder, ginger root powder, couch grass powder, Echinacea extract, black walnut leaf powder, fennelseed powder, dandelion root, parsley, papaya fruit, kelp powder, dextrose, sodium citrate, maltodextrin, dicalcium phosphate and lactose.

Moral: when there are too many ingredients, the supplement or recipe or processed food may have a longer shelf life than you do! And that’s not healthy. Read your labels. Know what you’re reading. And buy only USP-certified supplements, from someone you trust.