Herbal Medicines and Supplements Carry Risk of Hepatoxicity

PRIMUM NON NOCERE-önce zarar vermeyecksin
 Aktarlar son zamanlarda beni çok meşgul ediyor, adını yeni öğrendiğim ot karışımlarıyla hastalar sık soru sormaya başladılar.
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 Benim dikkatimi çeken en prestijli onkoloji dergisinde(Jurnal of oncology), Çin alternatif tıbbın karaciğer kanserli 3 vakıada reishi mantarı olarak adlandırılan Ganoderma lucidum kullanılması ve yanıt alınması (
 Ama maalesef Türkiye de durum böyle değil, lokman hekimden kalma, koca karı tavsiyesiyle kulaktan kulağa yayılan doğrulu ispatlanmamış en önemlisi hastaya zarar verip vermeyeceği bilinmeden, çoğunlukla kar amaçlı insanlara öneriliyor.
 Frontline Medical News’ de bir haber çıktı,
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 Bu zararlı etki kullanılan maddeye bağlı olduğu gibi, steril olmaması nedeniyle içinde enfekte organizmaların(mantar, bakteri, virüs) olmasıyla da zarar verebiliyor.
 Amerika da , göç eden kültürlerle birlikte çok sayıda ,değişik bitkinin kullanıldığı
 Amerika da bu pazarın yılda %3 artarak, 2010 verilerine göre 5.3 milyar dolar olduğu
 Özelikle warfarin gibi ilaçlarla sık etkileşime girdiği ve buna bağlı istenmeyen yan etkilerin olduğu belirtilmiş.
 Son olarak Çin de SBEL1 olarak adlandırdıkları , Çin alternatif tıbbında yeri olan molekülün Hepatit C karşı etkili olduğu gösterilmiş.

Sonuç: Hipokrat’ın ilk tavsiyesi ”PRIMUM NON NOCERE(önce zarar vermeyeceksin)” ilkesiyle”, bilinmeyenin -bilim ışığı ile aydınlatılmadığı sürece temkinli yaklaşmak gerektiğini düşünüyorum.
Kaynak: Frontline Medical News, 2014, S Freeman

Herbal Medicines and Supplements Carry Risk of Hepatoxicity
Frontline Medical News, 2014 Apr 23, S Freeman

Dr. Dominique Larrey Dr. Robert Fontana
LONDON (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Herbal medicines and other home remedies or supplements are a significant cause of hepatotoxicity experts warned recently during a symposium at the International Liver Congress, which unintentionally coincided with World Homeopathy Awareness Week.
Although they are not at the very top of the list when it comes to drug-induced liver injury (DILI) – that accolade being reserved for antimicrobial agents used to treat tuberculosis – the use of homeopathy-based approaches are potentially on the increase in the western world and the use of such substances is often not reported to physicians.
“Herbal medicines represent a significant cause of liver injury,” Dr. Dominique Larrey (Central University Hospital, Montpellier, France), said at the meeting that was sponsored by the European Association for the Study of the Liver. “Herbs can cause almost the whole spectrum of hepatic and biliary lesions, acute hepatitis being the most frequent one,” he added.

The rise of herbal medicine
Dr. Larrey, who works in the liver and transplantation department of Saint Eloi Hospital, also in Montpellier, noted that the use of herbs in traditional medicine was very important in many parts of the world, notably in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. They are used for both traditional and cultural reasons, he added, are often easy to access and are low cost in comparison to regulated medicines.
Their use is probably on the increase in western countries for a variety of reasons, Dr. Larrey suggested, such as the migration of people from cultures in which the use of traditional medicines is high, to the thinking that “what is natural can only be good” and “herbal medicines are considered completely innocuous in contrast to classical drugs.” Furthermore, the lack of satisfactory treatments for some severe diseases – cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and hepatitis C virus infection to name a few – mean that people often are willing to try out complementary or alternative medicines (CAM).
In the United States, the total sale of herbal remedies in 2010 was an estimated $5.2 billion per year, having increased around 3% a year over the past decade, Dr. Larrey pointed out.
The problem is that patients do not often tell their doctors about their use of CAM. A staggering 90% of patients taking the anticoagulant drug warfarin – which is renowned for having a very narrow therapeutic window and careful monitoring is required – were taking herbal medicines in one study, he said.
Prospective studies on the use of herbal medicines in western countries are scarce but those that have been conducted specifically in patients with liver disease suggest that as many as one-fifth (Hepatology 2008;47:605-12) to one-third (Gastroenterology 2001;120[Suppl 1]:A228) might be taking herbal remedies unbeknownst to their doctor.

The problem of assessment
There are limited data on how frequently herbal medicines cause liver damage, but estimates range from 2% to 16%, Dr. Larrey observed, adding that reported cases could be just the tip of the iceberg.
“Herbal medicine hepatoxicity is clearly underestimated for many reasons,” he suggested. First, their intake is hard to analyze. Second, the mechanism of liver damage is often uncertain, and third, it is hard to confirm causality. Indeed, herbal medicines do not have to undergo the rigorous testing or regulation in the same way that prescribed medicines do, and sales via the Internet make them easily available to all.
There is then the uncertainty of what is really in the preparations, if they contain the right plant at all or the wrong part of it, and then whether or not they have been stored correctly, or if they have been contaminated with other liver-damaging agents or microorganisms.

Advice for physicians
DILI from prescription and nonprescription medicines is an important but rare event in the westernized world, Dr. Robert Fontana of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said in an interview. However, because it can bring about very bad and unpredictable liver injury, it is of great importance for hepatologists and general family physicians alike.
“In the United States and I think worldwide, the frequency in use of [herbal treatments] is increasing and as we start to see registry data I think we will start to see more and more cases [of hepatoxicity],” Dr. Fontana said.
Dr. Fontana is part of the National Institutes of Health–funded Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN), a multicenter, prospective registry looking at the etiologies, risk factors, and outcomes of DILI in the United States (Drug Saf. 2009;32:55-68). Data from the registry show the prevalence of herbal and dietary supplements is around 9% (n = 300) in confirmed DILI cases.
“Patients need to tell their doctors what they are taking,” he advised, adding that, as physicians, “we all need to be aware and maybe ask more questions of our patients.”
The LiverTox website – produced by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Library of Medicine – is a valuable online and freely available resource for determining if a medication, herbal, or other supplement is known to cause liver problems. This is going to have a new chapter on herbal medicines, Dr. Fontana said, and is worth using in daily practice to help advise patients on the prescription or CAM they might be talking.
Dr. Larrey and Dr. Fontana had no disclosures relevant to their comments.

New Chinese herbal medicine inhibits HCV activity
A compound named SBEL1 after the laboratory in which it was discovered has multiple effects on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) life cycle, according to data from a late-breaking poster presented at the meeting.
Researchers from the Systems Biology of Epithelia Laboratory at the National Taiwan University, Taipei, screened six herbal medicines and found that one of these – SBEL1 – inhibited HCV activity by about 90% in infected cells.
Cheng-Wei Lin and Ming-Jiun Yu pretreated liver cells with the herbal extract and then infected these cells with HCV. Compared with control cells, SBEL1-treated cells contained 23% less viral protein. This suggested that SBEL1 prevented HCV from entering the pretreated cells.
Their findings also suggested that SBEL1 reduced internal-ribosome entry site–mediated translation, a process vital for viral protein production, and might also have interfered with the RNA replication process.
“SBEL1 has demonstrated significant inhibition of HCV at multiple stages of the viral life cycle,” Dr. Markus Peck-Radosavljevic, the secretary-general of the European Association for the Study of the Liver, said in a press release issued by the Society.
Dr. Peck-Radosavljevic (University of Vienna, Austria), who was not involved in the research, added that this “is an exciting discovery because it allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the virus and its interactions with other compounds. Ultimately, this adds to our library of knowledge that may bring us closer to improving future treatment options.”


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