About Us

The Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada is a federally incorporated non-profit organization founded in 2003 by a collaboration of academic, industry, and government researchers from across Canada.

Our mission

To promote scientifically rigorous research and education on natural health products (NHPs), develop a national multi-sector research community, and support national research priorities that enable the informed and appropriate use of NHPs.

Our Goals

  • Organize activities and events (such as the Annual Conference and Trade Show) that promote scientifically rigorous yet paradigm appropriate research on NHPs
  • Develop a national research community that encompasses academic, health professional, government and a broad-base of industry stakeholders;
  • Support national research priorities that best enable the informed and appropriate use of NHPs that are safe and efficacious;
  • Increase the capacity for NHP research and education;
  • Facilitate effective NHP knowledge transfer and translation;
  • Support the use of science-based product quality standards and that of well-characterized materials and protocols in research;
  • Foster value-chain development through interdisciplinary NHP research collaborations and networking.

A bit of history

In 1998, Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate began conducting consultations across the country to identify national Natural Health Product (NHP) research priorities. Although these conferences spanned topics ranging from pediatrics to law and ethics, several cross-cutting themes consistently emerged:

  • The need for a national research network
  • The need for a national research database
  • Issues concerning product quality
  • Funding barriers

In March 2003, leading NHP researchers from across Canada met in Winnipeg, Manitoba to discuss these points and to develop an effective strategy for addressing them. A key element emerging from the discussions was the need to form a national research society.

A volunteer committee was elected to accomplish this task. Its members contributed hundreds of hours to create an organizational framework and officially incorporate the NHPRS as a non-profit society. The Society’s first annual general meeting was held in Montreal, Québec in February of 2004 in conjunction with the first NHP Research conference. NHPRS has continued to hold acclaimed annual conferences in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto and other Canadian cities attracting world-class scientists as presenters, as well as academic and industry attendees from around the globe.

The goal for these annual events is to draw participation of basic, clinical and social scientists, graduate students and post-docs interested in NHP research, as well as researchers and companies interested in cutting-edge research on NHPs, in areas including:

  • Product quality and standards,
  • Production and processing,
  • Product development and formulation,
  • Product regulation,
  • Product safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action,
  • Traditional/ethnobotanical use
  • Clinical use in the prevention and treatment of various acute and chronic disorders.

Since 2003, the NHPRS has held an annual research conference with a focus on a varying theme each year. The NHPRS has also occasionally partnered with sister Societies to address common research interests and challenges and highlight cross-disciplinary issues related to food, nutrition or pharmacology and therapeutics.

Beginning in 2019, the NHPRS partnered with the Journal of Natural Health Product Research, which now serves as the society’s official scientific publication. The abstracts from the 2019 Conference and onwards will be published in the journal.