Publisher’s Words – (March-June 2023)

Lately there have been some commotions within the Canadian natural health product industry and practitioners who utilize NHPs within their practice. One of the main concerns is that Health Canada is planning to charge fees for all the activities relating to regulating NHPs, for example product applications, site license applications, and the renewal of all NHP related licenses. 

When one looks at the proposed fees, some may argue that the fees really deter small businesses from entering the NHP industry (thus favoring the big companies), and the fees also deter introduction of innovative new products or combination products. The other concern is the recent passing of Bill C-47, which grants additional power to Health Canada (in addition to current NHP Regulations) and NHPs may be treated like pharmaceuticals in the near future. 

At this time, the only group (I am aware of) that is sounding the above alarms is the Natural Health Products Protection Association ( Ironically, the bigger and better-known association, Canadian Health Food Association (, does not seem to be as concerned or making much fuss (as NHPPA) on their members behalf. If you are a Canadian and are concerned about the cost and availability of NHPs in Canada, this document written by Shawn Buckley of NHPPA may interest you:

Earlier this year, research on nicotinamide riboside (NR) done by a Swiss researcher caught my eye. In short, the paper concluded that “NR supplementation results in a significant increase in cancer prevalence and metastases of TNBC to the brain” in the animal model1. In the past 10 years, NR and NMN supplements have garnered much attention in the anti-aging industry, and many consumers and patients are taking them for the promise of “anti-aging” benefits. Of course, one paper based on the animal model may or may not be translatable to humans. However, for practitioners who deal with cancer patients, this should be taken into consideration and may warrant a discussion if the patient intends to take supplements like NR or NMN.

Martin Kwok, ND, DrTCM

1Maric T, et al. A bioluminescent-based probe for in vivo non-invasive monitoring of nicotinamide riboside uptake reveals a link between metastasis and NAD+ metabolism. Biosens Bioelectron. 2023 Jan 15;220:114826. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2022.114826. Epub 2022 Oct 29.