Ayurvedic products from Surrey, B.C., clinic could poison users: Health Canada

Toronto General Hospital in Toronto is shown on Thursday April 5, 2018. The number of doctors in Canada is growing at a rate more than double that of the population, says a report by the Canadian Institute of Health Information. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

SURREY, B.C.  Health Canada and the Fraser Health Authority are warning about a potential of lead or mercury poisoning from products sold at Dutta Health Centre-Ayurvedic Clinic in Surrey, B.C.

Health Canada says testing of some Ayurvedic products at the clinic found they contained high levels of lead and mercury, which can pose a health risk when consumed in excessive amounts.

The agency says its testing was prompted by a report from Fraser Health of a case of lead poisoning of a patient who has been using the products.

Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic, traditional therapy developed thousands of years ago with the belief that health and wellness depend on balance between the mind, body and spirit.

Health Canada says its inspection of the clinic also found unauthorized natural health products that were being imported and sold, and the clinic has agreed to stop selling those and the Ayurvedic products.

Fraser Health says the symptoms of lead poisoning include: anemia, headaches, slowed thinking, constipation and miscarriages, while mercury poisoning can prompt mood swings, memory loss and muscle weakness.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2019.