Sunday, December 3

Report: UC Santa Cruz leads research center on botanical dietary supplements

Although millions of people take plant-based dietary supplements or herbal medicines, understanding the effects of these natural products on human health has proven to be extremely challenging. Clinical trials like those used to evaluate drugs have largely failed to show efficacy for botanical natural products.

A new research center led by UC Santa Cruz and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will focus on understanding how botanicals work on the molecular and cellular levels to provide a better foundation for clinical trials of these complex natural products.

“We’re trying to put a scientific foundation behind the use of botanical natural products, so that people can make informed decisions about what botanicals might be helpful to an individual,” said principal investigator John MacMillan, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz.

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