A risk profile of plant food supplements


The purpose of the risk profile is to use data collected (through a survey and the ePlantLIBRA database) under the PlantLIBRA project (see below) to identify potential health hazards of the plants or botanical preparations contained in the plant food supplements (PFS) most commonly used in Finland, the dosages and exposure times that lead to health hazards, and the probability of health hazards when levels of intake and frequency of consumption are taken into account. The combined effect of PFSs and medicinal products and the use of PFSs in the treatment of illnesses will also be studied. The risk profile is based on qualitative risk characterisation.

PlantLIBRA was an EU-funded project for studying the use of PFSs and their health benefits and risks. Evira participated in the implementation of a survey on PFS use. In Finland, a total survey sample of 2784 respondents was used to identify how common the use of PFSs is. A thorough interview was conducted with the respondents who had used PFSs (n=402) in order to obtain more detailed information on PFS use (products, intake levels, frequency of consumption and reasons for use) and background information on the respondents (for example state of health, use of medicines and lifestyle). The PlantLIBRA project also involved putting together a database (ePlantLIBRA) containing information on the composition of plant food supplements and their health benefits and risks. The database does not, however, contain information on all the PFSs in use in Finland.


The aim of the project is to assess the health hazards of the most commonly used plant food supplements (PFS) in Finland.


The risk profile will be published in report format.


plants, food supplements

Responsible project leader:

Hirvonen, Tero, Senior Researcher, Ph.D., Evira, Risk Assessment Research Unit

Person at Evira responsible for the project:

Hirvonen, Tero,  Senior Researcher, Ph.D., Risk Assessment Research Unit

In cooperation with:

The PlantLIBRA project

Project status:


Year of commencement:


Year of completion: