Natural remedies dosed with Viagra analogue

Skip to Navigation

Blog Post

  • Published: Mar 28, 2014
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Infrared Spectroscopy / Proteomics / Raman / NMR Knowledge Base / MRI Spectroscopy / Chemometrics & Informatics / Atomic / Base Peak / X-ray Spectrometry

View comments on this post

A new strategy for detecting synthetic adulterants in natural remedies has been demonstrated by the detection of a Viagra analogue in a well-known health food.

Many so-called natural health remedies are secretly dosed with synthetic compounds to give them added potency but the modifications are transparent to the consumer. This type of supplement is not subjected to the same stiff regulations that govern medications, so abuse is widespread, especially from products bought over the Internet.

The research community has come out with a range of different ways to detect particular adulterants that have proven effective but scientists in the UK have taken a broader approach. Writing in Food Chemistry, they describe how they used a dual database approach to detect a sildenafil analogue (related to the erectile dysfunction compound Viagra) in a common health food.

Various products containing extracts of Eurycoma longifolia were acquired for examination. This supplement is used as a general tonic and also as an aphrodisiac and the majority of commercial products have already been shown to be adulterated with drugs in an earlier study. In this case, the research team recorded their near-IR spectra and compared them against a database built up from authenticated products using principal components analysis. The comparison revealed that the spectra were significantly different, probably due to the presence of additional compounds, but could not show which ones were present.

The adulterant was identified by comparing the NIR spectra to those of a reference database compiled for 3000 medicines, ousting an analogue of sildenafil citrate as the culprit. Its structure was confirmed by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry.

This dual approach has the advantage of quickly identifying if a product does not match the list of its ingredients, without having to resort to individual reference compounds, once the libraries have been constructed. It could be extended to other types of products and might find application in drug counterfeiting and quality control, as well as adulteration.

Comments

There are currently no comments on this post.

Comment Form

You have to log in to comment on this post.

Log in using the form at the top of the page or register here.

Social Links

Share This Links

Bookmark and Share

Microsites

Suppliers Selection
Societies Selection

Banner Ad

Click here to see
all job opportunities

Copyright Information

Interested in separation science? Visit our sister site separationsNOW.com

Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All Rights Reserved