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University Asset: Center for Botanical Interaction Studies – Dietary Detectives


Bontanical elements

Researchers at the University of Missouri’s Center for Botanical Interaction Studies (CBIS) investigate botanical dietary supplements.

Nearly one in five Americans uses natural products such as botanical dietary supplements. But are they safe? Botanicals are not required by federal law to be tested for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed, so the amount of scientific evidence available for botanical ingredients varies widely.

At the interdisciplinary Center for Botanical Interaction Studies, researchers systematically evaluate the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements. The Center uses state-of-the-art technology to collect and analyze how plants perform – focusing particularly on antioxidants, known for their role in warding off cancer. This innovative approach allows CBIS researchers to investigate whether botanicals prevent prostate cancer, inhibit deterioration of nerve function and improve resistance to infectious diseases. Their results can help health care providers and consumers make informed choices.

The Center is funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, an arm of the National Institutes of Health. It involves researchers from multiple areas of study including pharmacology and physiology, biochemistry, pathology and anatomical science, medicine, nutritional science and computer science.

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