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Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2007 Feb;55(2):299-303.

Identification of the origin of chondroitin sulfate in "health foods".

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.


Twelve "health foods" products containing chondroitin sulfate (CS) were purchased from the Japanese market and the origin of the CS was investigated by conducting disaccharide compositional analysis after enzymatic depolymerization and by 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Nine of the 12 products had labels indicating that the origin of the CS was shark cartilage. However, two of them were found to contain mammalian CS. Next, we compared the ratio of the sulfate group to the galactosamine residue after the acid hydrolysis of CS. The results suggest that all of the CS from sharks had a ratio of more than 1.0, while the CS from mammals had a ratio of less than 1.0. Since this comparative analysis does not require expensive purified enzyme, it would be an economical way to identify the origin of CS in "health foods." Being able to determine the origin of the ingredients in natural products is very important for ensuring their quality, safety, and efficacy. Therefore, we think that regulatory requirements for accurately indicating the origin of "health foods" and effective enforcement of these requirements are needed.

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