Commercial herbal slimming products: Concern for the presence of heavy metals and bacteria

Noraziah Mohamad Zin, Yong Mei Chit, Nur Faizah Abu Bakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The increment of rate in obesity, the phenomenon of fat phobia as well as the increased use of herbal medicine had lead to the emergence of herbal slimming products. However, numerous bacteria and heavy metal contaminations are often found in herbal products due to irregular handling practices. Ten different brands of products (labeled as A-J) were investigated. Seven heavy metals content such as As, Cd, Pb, Co, Cr, Cu and Zn were analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and bacterial presence was determined by counting the total aerobic count. The identification of isolates was carried out by macroscopic and microscopic observation, biochemical tests and confirmation using commercial kits of Microgen GN-ID A+B and API 20 E. The heavy metal contents in the samples were below the limit of the standard limitation by WHO and Health Canada. However, sample A contained the highest total daily intake of heavy metals. Total aerobic count was highest in sample H followed by G, A, B, C, F, D, E, I and J in which G and H exceeded the standard total aerobic count (105 CFUg-1) as given by WHO. A total of nine isolates of Bacillus spp. and ten gram-negative bacteria were isolated in which Bacillus cereus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were found in samples C and F, respectively. Considering the fact that the herbal sliming products contained low concentration of heavy metals and bacteria count, it should be consumed with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
JournalPakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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heavy metals
bacteria
sampling
herbal medicines
Bacillus (bacteria)
atomic absorption spectrometry
Bacillus cereus
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Gram-negative bacteria
obesity
Canada
lipids
testing

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Heavy metal
  • Herbal slimming products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Commercial herbal slimming products : Concern for the presence of heavy metals and bacteria. / Mohamad Zin, Noraziah; Mei Chit, Yong; Abu Bakar, Nur Faizah.

In: Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2014, p. 356-363.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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