How to choose a good natural health product?


Choosing which product to buy?

Guidance from EBE’s independent assessment of specific evidence
Independent advice

It can be extremely confusing trying to choose natural health products. There are thousands of products on the shelves containing what looks like the “same substance”. They are all different – different price, different owners, different packaging, different composition and different biological effects on the body.

This makes it almost impossible to make the product choices for you and your family. It is difficult to know who to turn to for advice. Often the advice is confusing and contradictory. This is where transparency, independence and scientific evidence can make the difference.

Empowering YOU to be guided by specific evidence

Can you find specific evidence products yourself?

It is possible, if you have the time, to search for the specific products that have been used in clinical trials. To do this you need to search databases of published literature like PubMed.

To get details of the specific product used sometimes you need to pay for the article. Inside the article the exact product used should be described.

Sadly, very few of the thousands of clinical trials on natural health products properly describe the product! Even if they did, it is not possible to be certain that the product we can buy today is the same as the product used in the clinical trials, usually conducted years ago.

Which products are independently assessed?

The challenge of finding natural health products which have specific evidence has been taken on by Empowered By Evidence (EBE). In 2022, applications for our independent assessment were received for 14 products. Most applications did not reach our standards, but hopefully this will improve over time.

The great news is that 5 products achieved the EBE standard, and they are available in 39 countries under 32 brand names. Their details can be found here:
Click Here: Database of specific evidence products.

Who are Empowered By Evidence?

The members of Empowered By Evidence (EBE) are natural health specialists and researchers. Formed as the Natural Health Science Foundation Inc. (doing business as Empowered by Evidence or EBE) we were incorporated in September 2014. EBE is a nonprofit based in New York, USA and has members from all over the world. For more background on EBE and the Natural Health Science Foundation Inc, please visit our organization website at NatHealthScience.org.

Why is independent product accreditation needed?
Reliable natural health products are difficult to make!

Natural health products are, by definition, natural and therefore variable and complex. For example, products made from grapes (wine of different colors/qualities, vinegar and table grapes) are not the same products. This is even more the case for natural health products which have thousands of different sources and a much more complex manufacturing process.

One of the great potential advantages of natural health products is their complexity. Human bodies are complex and one advantage of natural health products is that they can act on many different body systems at once. This means, like with wine, we need to preserve this complexity from year to year and batch to batch to realize this potential advantage of natural health products.

Therefore, to produce a reliable product, that is the same over years, we need to control all of the steps in making them. We need the same raw materials, the same processing and the same manufacturing over time. This is even more difficult than for wine as there are many more steps to control. The makers of the most reliable natural health products control all of these steps. The “product” is often called the “process”.

When we have a product that is reliable from batch to batch then research on that finished product is reproducible over time. This specific evidence is then the “Benefit” of the product.

Many people call this best practice, “Source to Benefit” control of the product.

Go to the Foundation website for further information.


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