Steven Dentali, PhD, chief science officer, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Silver Spring, MD, has offered a point/counterpoint to a call for changes to the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA) in the February 2010 issue of the Nature-published journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Dr. Dentali’s article, “Successful Botanical Research Requires Botanical Expertise,” provides an opposing perspective to an article by Drs. Tsourounis and Bent. While they argue additional regulatory oversight by FDA is needed to improve the quality of botanical research, Dr. Dentali argues that what is needed in current research is experience working with crude botanical materials.
Scientific interest of well-known botanicals declined in the U.S. during the middle decades of the 20th century as the use of medical herbs fall out of fashion within the medical community, Dr. Dentali explained, and it will take some time to reestablish our forgotten familiarity with them.
“Every field of scientific inquiry and exploration is defined by expertise put into practice,” said Dr. Dentali. “The current challenge in botanical research is to involve experts who understand botanical preparations in the context of modern medical investigative approaches. I am honored to have had this opportunity to educate an important group of scientists and doctors on the past and future of botanical research.”