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Publication type: Diploma Thesis

Year: 2012

Author(s): Auinger, Nina Gabriele

Title: Untersuchungen von Qualität und Preis von bestimmten Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln im Vergleich zu Arzneimitteln im Human- und Veterinärbereich.

Other title: Studies of quality and price of certain food supplements compared to medicines in the human and veterinary sector

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 87.


Franz Chlodwig
Hahn-Ramssl Isabella

Böhm Josef

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Graduation date: 17.04.12

The majority of the human population places a high value on their own health and that of their pets. Nature offers a spectacular range of herbs suited for the prevention, treatment and supportive therapy of certain diseases. They are used in medicines and (dietary) supplements, both in the human and veterinary fields. Health food stores, pharmacies, drugstores, supermarkets and the Internet offer a very wide range of "remedies" which are abundant and unfortunately not very transparent. My thesis examines the macroscopic structure and constituents of the plants; thyme, calendula and camomile. Thyme with its antibiotic and secretolytic effects is recommended for diseases of the respiratory tract. The calendula, known since Hildegard from Bingen as a medicinal plant, supports wound healing and is often found in cosmetic products. Camomile as found in tea, is preferably used to relieve irritation from gastrointestinal disorders. After creating a market overview, three human medicines, three food supplements, three veterinary drugs and three food supplements based upon the plants thyme, calendula and chamomile were purchased. The products for the market survey were selected on a random basis. The packaging, package inserts (patient or consumer information) and the containers were checked for legal compliance. Since the central focus of my work was placed upon the ingredients of thyme and thymol, the thyme products were examined at the Veterinary University of Vienna, in the Laboratory of Applied Botany and Pharmacognosy. Based upon the recommended daily dosage extracts of each product were prepared with different methods made necessary since the products were available in different consistencies. The extracts were analyzed for the presence of thymol by means thin layer chromatography as well as partly with the use of gas chromatography. The results were completed with a price comparison. The comparison showed that supplements are less expensive than conventional pharmaceuticals, but they must be taken over a longer period in order to achieve the desired effect. In conclusion, (dietary) supplements are generally speaking more expensive and less secure in consumption, in comparison to (veterinary) pharmaceuticals.

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