You are here:   HomeNews ReleasesNatural Health Products—A $3 Billion Dollar Industry: Conference to Examine the Science Behind It

May 27, 2019

Edmonton, Alberta:  Research scientists, clinicians, practitioners, and other representatives from academia, government research and regulatory agencies, as well as industry groups interested in research about the quality, safety and efficacy of natural health products are coming together in Edmonton, Alberta from May 26th – 29th, 2019.  The Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada (NHPRS) is pleased to host their 16th Annual NHP Research Conference.

The theme of the conference, Growing NHPs for the Future, reflects on Alberta’s vibrant agriculture, food and natural health product sectors. With a focus on environmentally sustainable practices and novel technologies, the conference is designed to showcase the research behind the social, economic and health benefits afforded by NHPs.

According to StatsCans The Canadian Community Health Survey – Nutrition[i], 45.6% of Canadians (approximately 15.7 million people) use at least one nutritional supplement regularly (e.g., vitamins, minerals, fibre supplements, and fish oils). This figure increases to 65.5% depending upon the person’s age and gender.

Commenting on the relevancy of the conference program for consumers, Dr. Heather Boon, Professor, University of Toronto, states that:

 “The Program will explore the latest scientific advances in natural health products that will enable Canadians to make well-informed healthcare decisions regarding the use of these products in the management of cancer, cardiovascular health, diabetes, infection and mental health.”

The Program features a roster of Canadian and international research scientists, including those from Brazil and the United States.  Dr. Pierre Haddad, tenured professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the Université de Montréal, Quebec, comments on a unique aspect of Canadian research:

“There are significant on-going bridge-building research efforts between traditional indigenous medicine and modern science to examine traditional remedies; how they work; what makes them effective; and how safe they are, notably in combination with contemporary drugs. The Monday morning program will address these questions under the theme: “The Role of Indigenous Science in NHP Research”.

The conference also comes at a critical time when consumers are increasingly searching for information on the scientific evidence and quality of NHPs, which enables them to make informed choices about their health-care options. In turn, they expect researchers and healthcare practitioners to provide objective answers regarding the efficacy and safety of all medications—natural and pharmaceutical.