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Drug-related liver injury: call for better regulation of supplements

Posted 26 July 2021

Medical Journal Australia – InSight 

DOCTORS at a Sydney liver transplant centre have raised concerns about the rising rate of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) cases linked to herbal and dietary supplements, warning these cases are often at the severest end of the spectrum.

Paracetamol remains the drug most commonly linked to DILI, a study of DILI cases at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre found.

There were 115 paracetamol-related cases and 69 non-paracetamol related cases at the centre over the 12 years to 2020. Of the non-paracetamol DILI cases, antibiotics and antifungals were the most commonly implicated medicines (19 cases). However, the proportion of cases linked with herbal and dietary supplements (15 cases) grew steadily over the period, from 15% to 47% of the non-paracetamol cases.

Cases linked with herbal or dietary supplements had especially poor prognoses, the study found, with 90-day … Read the rest

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: Myths Versus Facts

Posted 27 August 2018

Bioidentical hormones has remained controversial for many years.

For example, Solal a manufacturer of these products, claims on their website: “Saliva testing of steroid hormones, which is the truest reflection of your tissue levels of steroid hormones” [1] whereas the recent article (below) from the Medical Journal Australia states In fact, saliva tests are not considered a reliable method for establishing hormone levels”.

1. http://solal.co.za/integrative-medical-centre/

The article continues with: “Overall the scientific studies are positive regarding women with menopausal symptoms taking HRT. The same cannot be said for bioidentical hormones because they have not been widely or appropriately researched”.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: Myths Versus Facts

Medical Journal Australia MJA Issue 33 / 27 August 2018 

Read the rest

Vaginas no place for wasps’ nests. No kidding

Posted 21 May 2018

I RECENTLY came across a remarkable headline in the New York Post: “Doctors warn women against putting wasp nests in their vaginas”.

Those of us with the relevant anatomy are no doubt relieved to have been warned about this before we succumbed to the ever-present temptation to, well, put a wasp nest in our …

To be fair, the “all-natural” product being spruiked for vaginal rejuvenation does not actually contain live wasps, though it may contain remnants of larvae. The wasp nests, or oak galls, are ground up and turned into a paste for topical application.

As is so often the case with snake oil, the sites peddling this stuff use a bewildering blend of grand promises, ancient precedent and “sciency” language to support their marketing claims.

Read the rest

Herbal products need tighter regulation by TGA

Posted 06 February 2017

http://www.doctorportal.com.au/mjainsight/2017/4/herbal-products-need-tighter-regulation-by-tga/

Medical Journal Australia
Issue 4 / 6 February 2017

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Quackery exploiting autism families

Posted 31 October 2016

An article by Jane McCredie, published in the Medical Journal Australia

A FEW years ago, I attended a scientific conference on autism. In the foyer, among the drug company stands and the stalls selling learning aids, was a promotional display for hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Commercial providers of this service claim it offers huge benefits for everything from infectious diseases to cancer. For children with autism, it’s alleged to improve cognitive and general function as well as social and language skills.

Weirdly, providers often describe it as a “natural” treatment, offering it alongside homeopathy and various dietary programs. How being put into a metal chamber to breathe pressurised oxygen can be considered natural beats me.

There’s no evidence to support the use of this or many of the other alternative treatments promoted for autism, as Dr Andrew Whitehouse of Perth’s Telethon Institute has written, but … Read the rest