Biologically Active Natural Products from Asia and Africa: A Selection of Topics

Quantification and Health Safety Assessment of Some Toxic Metals in Anti-Diabetic Herbal Preparations Collected from Local Retailers Using the XRF Analytical Tool

Author(s): Rausan Zamir, ">Nazmul Islam, Mahfuza Parveen, Shipra Sarker, Rajib Kanti, M. Safiur Rahman and Omar Faruque

Pp: 15-24 (10)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811489747121010004

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


In developing countries, an increase of diabetes became an alarming issue and recognized as the third leading fatal disorder among all syndromes. Bangladesh also has a large number of diabetic people in the world. In the present study, the quantification of major toxic metals and the assessment of their safety in the antidiabetic herbal preparations had been undertaken. In our investigation, a handful of samples collected randomly from different kiosks and herbal retail shops in Dhaka city, Bangladesh, were exposed to the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique. It was found that the average concentration of calcium was the highest (660.82mg/50gm) and arsenic was the lowest in concentrations (<0.01mg/50gm) in all anti-diabetic herbal preparations (ADHPs). Cu, Fe and Ni concentration above the safety limits and two samples containing Zn concentration above the safety limits were recommended by WHO and FAO as 3 ppm, 20 ppm, 1.63 ppm and 50 ppm for herbal drugs, respectively. Other toxic heavy metals like As, Pb and Co were found with a respective concentration of <0.01, <0.012 and <0.22 mg/50 gm, which were all within their safe consumption limit. Patients who take the herbal drugs can suffer from dizziness, nausea and vomiting, dermatitis, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, abdominal pain, diarrhea, joints pain, shock, and even liver damage due to the overdose of iron and zinc. Based on the present study, it can be clarified that the percentage of heavy metal concentrations in herbal drugs in Bangladesh is at risk. Regulatory agencies should come forward and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of finished herbal preparations.

Keywords: Anti-diabetic herbal preparations (ADHP), Heavy metal, X-ray fluorescence (XRF).

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