What is a NPN and Why is it Important?

As Canadians, we should be proud to have one of the world’s most rigorous systems for protecting our health and safety, and ensuring we have access to safe, effective and high quality Natural Health Products (NHPs). At the heart of this system is the Natural Product Number (NPN), an eight-digit number located on the product label. Found on all NHPs legally licensed for sale in Canada, this number means that the product has been assessed by Health Canada and deemed to be safe, effective and of high quality. Best of all, all the information attached to this number is completely traceable.

Consumers wanting to learn more about a particular natural health product can simply enter the eight-digit NPN found on its label into Health Canada’s Licensed Natural Health Products Database to access information such as:


  • product brand name;
  • product licence holder;
  • product's medicinal ingredients;
  • product's non-medicinal ingredients;
  • product's dosage form;
  • product's recommended use or purpose (i.e. its health claim or indication);
  • and risk information associated with the product's use (i.e. cautions, warnings, contra-indications and known adverse reactions).

This information is updated regularly and the website includes a User Guide to help consumers navigating the database as well as a Terminology Guide to help them understand the words and terms used within it. For a more personalized approach, you can also visit your local independent health food retailer to ask other questions about NHPs. You can find the nearest retailer by going to chfa.ca and using the “find a retailer” tool.

As the voice of the natural health industry in Canada, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is continuing to work closely with both the industry and regulators to make the Canadian approach to regulating NHPs even more efficient, flexible, and predictable.

CHFA is committed to ensuring industry innovation and growth so that Canadians can continue to have access to safe, effective and high quality NHPs that enhance their health and wellbeing.