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Pure Appl. Chem.
74(10), 1957-1985, 2002
Pure and Applied
Vol. 74, Issue 10
AND HUMAN HEALTH DIVISION
Natural and synthetic substances related to human
health (IUPAC Technical Report)
A.M. Clark, E. Ernst, C. Hufford, G.A.R. Johnston, J.M. Rimoldi, and
Abstract: There is a widespread belief on the part of the general
public that natural substances are inherently superior to synthetic
substances with regard to efficacy and safety in matters related to
human health. This question is examined by reviewing the therapeutic
use of drugs and herbal medicine preparations, the role of vitamins
and nutrients, and the effects of toxic substances. A comparison of
the characteristics of natural and synthetic substances within these
categories shows a similar range of favorable and unfavorable effects.
It is apparent that molecular structure and dose determine the effect
of substances on human health, not whether they are of natural or synthetic
* Corresponding author.
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