Food supplements can contain dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as benzopyrene, dioxins or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) if they are not manufactured properly.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in dietary supplements

Again and again there are reports of excessive, health-threatening amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as benzopyrene (benzo(a)pyrene) in food supplements. In addition to vegetable oils, dried plant products such as spirulina, chlorella and green tea extract are particularly affected, but also chia seeds. The high PAH levels in herbal food supplements can be traced back to poor manufacturing practice and, above all, improper drying of the ingredients.

In animal feed supplements, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) could be a problem with fish oil capsules. The cause is the accumulation in the food chain from algae to fish.

Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in dietary supplements

Highly toxic dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can also play a role in food supplements such as green clays (mineral earths). There are so-called trigger values. These are below the maximum levels and serve as an early warning system to identify, limit or eliminate causes before the maximum level is exceeded.

Dioxins and PCBs may also be present in marine animal oils. Above all, high-fat fish such as herring and salmon, especially in the eastern Baltic Sea, are in part highly contaminated with dioxins as a result of years of entry via sewage. However, these pollutants can be largely removed during the manufacture of the products using technical processes.

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What can you do?

You should be particularly critical of spirulina and chlorella products as well as clay. If necessary, ask the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the origin of the raw materials is rarely recognizable.

Rather buy products from common brands or private labels and in stationary trade such as supermarkets, drugstores, online health food stores, pharmacies. For example, if you want to buy the dietary supplement protetox online, you should check customer reviews. This way, you can be sure you are buying the legit natural product.

In-house checks of the raw materials and of course the end products are part of everyday life here. This is especially true for organic products.

You should exercise particular caution with products especially when buying from foreign countries.