Herbal weight loss remedies are produced from various plant species which could accumulate heavy metals from the environment. The consumption of contaminated herbal preparations could be a source of consumer exposure to toxic metals. The aim of the study was to evaluate the content of cadmium in selected herbal weight loss products available on the Polish market, to determine exposure of consumers to the heavy metal included in herbal infusions prepared from the studied products and the related health risk.
The study included 29 herbal weight loss products available on the Polish market. The content of cadmium in the analyzed dried herbs and herbal infusions was analyzed. Based on the obtained results, the exposure of consumers to cadmium and the related health risks were estimated.
Cadmium concentration in dried herbs did not exceed the maximum allowable concentration.
The exposure of consumers of the most contaminated herbal infusions to cadmium could be equal to half of the reference dose, which is an acceptable exposure threshold.