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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
Read the rest

Complementary cancer therapies ‘do more harm than good’

Posted 14 November 2019

BBC News 14 November 2019

Cancer patients should tell their doctors if they are taking herbal products because some of the ingredients could stop their treatment working, a cancer conference has heard.

Garlic, ginger and ginkgo pills, for example, can delay the healing of skin wounds when breast cancer spreads.

Surgeon Prof Maria Joao Cardoso, said there was no evidence that herbal therapies or creams worked.

If in doubt, it was best not to take anything, she said.

“Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer,” Prof Cardoso, head breast surgeon at the Champalimaud Cancer Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, told the BBC.

She said it was particularly important that patients always checked with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for cancer that had spread to the skin.

This happens in one Read the rest

Big problems with popular turmeric and echinacea supplements

Posted 08 November 2019

Lead? Aerobic bacteria? Misleading labels? Consumer Reports tested popular brands of the widely used supplements; here’s what they found.

TreeHugger.com

In a perfect world, humans would be able to rely on plant-based remedies and in doing so, improve health while reducing reliance on pharmaceuticals. Mother Nature is a brilliant doctor, one whom we’ve relied on for millennia.

Unfortunately, the botanical supplement industry is not so perfect. There is a notable lack of regulation – as in, the FDA has to prove a supplement is not safe before they can remove it from the market – and as such has created an industry rife with shenanigans. That some 23,000 people a year end up in the emergency room after taking a supplement says a lot. (This isn’t to say that all supplement makers are unscrupulous – not at all; but with little oversight, there is room for Read the rest

11 Turmeric Myths You Should Stop Believing ASAP

Posted 06 November

Turmeric’s gotten tons of health hype lately due to curcumin, its main bioactive compound. Scientists have already conducted over 100 clinical trials on the antioxidant-like compounds found in the curry spice, called curcuminoids.

But since so many studies on this golden seasoning have been misreported, it’s time to set the record straight. Here are some of turmeric’s top claims, debunked:

The article lists these – read the details of these at the original website, MSN Lifestyle

  1. It reduces inflammation.
  2. It fights pain.
  3. It reduces risk of chronic diseases.
  4. It helps your skin.
  5. It reduces risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  6. It sharpens your mind.
  7. It can help with autoimmune disorders.
  8. You don’t have to eat a lot to reap the rewards.
  9. It’s better absorbed with black pepper.
  10. It’s better than other spices.
  11. Taking a turmeric supplement can’t hurt.

The Bottom Line

Turmeric is delicious, but there’s not enough proof Read the rest