October 2019

Do Any Natural Medicines Fool Drug Test Results?

Lots of buzz on the internet claims yes. While some natural medicines might lead to false positives or negatives, there’s no evidence that any can be relied upon to consistently mask a positive result.

Pectin is becoming particularly popular for masking drug use. Pectin products that are used to make homemade jellies and jams, including Sure Jell Certo Fruit Pectin, are being ingested before taking urine drug tests. The theory is that pectin temporarily coats the stomach and bladder, blocking whatever drugs are being tested from the urine. There’s no evidence that it actually works, but the hype around this theory isn’t waning.

Goldenseal has long been promoted for masking drug test results. But the research doesn’t back up the claims. Taking goldenseal or adding goldenseal to a urine sample does not cause false negatives for a number of drug tests, including cocaine, benzodiazepines, opioids, THC and others.

While there’s no evidence that any natural medicines can mask drug test results, some can cause false positive or false negative lab test results. Taking biotin has been linked to false positive and false negative test results for numerous hormones and several vitamin levels. Vitamin C has been linked to false positive test results for certain liver enzymes, and false negative test results for certain vitamins. And hordenine, a popular ingredient in athletic performance and weight loss supplements, has been linked to false positives for both opioids and amphetamines. To find out if an ingredient in a supplement can affect certain blood test results, always check the Interactions with Lab Tests section of our monographs.

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Reviewed February 2023

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