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Experts spotlight liver injury from herbal dietary supplements in the U.S

Posted 19 April 2023

Experts on natural products and toxicology have provided an overview of the problem of liver damage due to herbal dietary supplement (HDS) use in the United States. They suggest two strategies they hope will improve consumer safety and drive bad actors from the marketplace. One is a path for pre-clinical assessment and the other is the establishment of a list of products.
Reference: Gurley BJ, and others. Hepatoxicity due to herbal dietary supplements: Past, present, and the future. Food and Chemical Toxicology 169:113445, 2022

Their key points include:

  • The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 provides an insufficient framework for regulating HDS products.
  • 20% of adult Americans regularly consume HDS products.
  • Liver toxicity is among the most frequent serious events reported through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Adverse Event Reporting System.
  • 20% of all drug-induced
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Supplement products associated with liver toxicity

Posted 13 October 2014

The Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network has reported that about 15% of the cases that it studied involved herbal and dietary supplement products. The organization was established in 2003 to identify and study cases of drug-induced liver injury attributable to medications (excluding acetaminophen [APAP]) and supplements. The 130 patients with liver injury from supplements consisted of 45 (35%) who had taken bodybuilding products and 85 (65%) who had taken non-bodybuilding products. The report noted the problems attributable to bodybuilding products were relatively mild but severe outcomes (deaths and liver transplants) were more frequent among users non-bodybuilding products than among medication users.

[From: Consumer Health Digest #14-38, October 12, 2014]

Below is the published abstract.

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