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(The New York Times)   Recent spike in liver injuries due to "it's safe because it's natural" herbal supplements   (nytimes.com) divider line 89
    More: Scary  
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7485 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Dec 2013 at 6:05 PM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-22 01:32:41 PM  
the article might not have been useless if it had mentioned what kind of doses of green tea extract people were taking. since a huge amount of that stuff is sold, and rates of liver damage are much, much lower, i'm thinking a lot of the people with severe liver damage from it were dosing on the if-one-is-good-then-ten-is-better principle.
 
2013-12-22 02:07:53 PM  
Take new 500 milligram "extra-strengh" Tylenol regularly, and you'll be right as rain in no time!

This message brought to you by the FDA in partnership with McNeil-PPC

TYLENOL®, a Safe Choice for Every Generation When Used as Directed!

(ignore that milk thistle crap, it's unhealthy and unAmerican)
 
2013-12-22 02:11:53 PM  
That's why I stick with old-fashioned vodka.
 
2013-12-22 02:15:17 PM  

Therion: Take new 500 milligram "extra-strengh" Tylenol regularly, and you'll be right as rain in no time!

This message brought to you by the FDA in partnership with McNeil-PPC

TYLENOL®, a Safe Choice for Every Generation When Used as Directed!

(ignore that milk thistle crap, it's unhealthy and unAmerican)


TFA seems to indicate that they don't feel it's usually the basic herb or whatever, but the fact that the makers of these things are sometimes just tossing god-knows-what into the mix because there's little or no oversight.  I dunno.  I wreck my body in other ways.
 
2013-12-22 06:09:38 PM  
I'm doing just fine farking my liver all up without taking 'all natural' garbage.

Thanks anyway.
 
2013-12-22 06:10:22 PM  
Jimsonweed is totally natural, too.
 
2013-12-22 06:11:03 PM  

Therion: Take new 500 milligram "extra-strengh" Tylenol regularly, and you'll be right as rain in no time!

This message brought to you by the FDA in partnership with McNeil-PPC

TYLENOL®, a Safe Choice for Every Generation When Used as Directed!

(ignore that milk thistle crap, it's unhealthy and unAmerican)


Have you considered that scientists and doctors don't recommend that woo-woo bullcrap because it either doesn't help or would hurt you?

Don't worry; this guy is a medical expert and has your best interests in mind:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-12-22 06:11:03 PM  

the801: on the if-one-is-good-then-ten-is-better principle.


Well it works with buttplugs so ...
 
2013-12-22 06:11:09 PM  
Arsenic is natural...
 
2013-12-22 06:12:21 PM  
I went ahead and wrecked my liver the old fashioned way. I was "highlighter yellow" before I started treatment for cirrhosis.
 
2013-12-22 06:14:56 PM  
Anyone ever tried kratom?
 
2013-12-22 06:15:07 PM  
Pfft, what do scientists know? My local shaman prescribed me some xander root extract for my fibromyalgia, and after 3 days my chakras felt cleansed!
 
2013-12-22 06:15:25 PM  
crude oil is all natural... so the deepwater horizon "disaster" was really beneficial to all that marine life.
 
2013-12-22 06:15:50 PM  
the dietary supplement market is entirely build upon consumer stupidity.  that is, until it gets regulated.
 
2013-12-22 06:16:40 PM  

phrawgh: Arsenic is natural...


I already consume a fair amount of arsenic. It's in the groundwater from natural deposits.
 
2013-12-22 06:17:00 PM  
So.. god forbid they actually mention what it was that caused the person liver failure.
 
2013-12-22 06:17:01 PM  

Badafuco: I went ahead and wrecked my liver the old fashioned way. I was "highlighter yellow" before I started treatment for cirrhosis.


Jaundice: if you're not the one suffering from it, it's hilarious.
 
2013-12-22 06:17:42 PM  
This is natural too. Have a nice big bite.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-12-22 06:18:57 PM  

phrawgh: Arsenic is natural...


So is beer.

Meanwhile, do you really want to be the one to counter the "natural is good" crowd with an argument just as retarded?
 
2013-12-22 06:19:13 PM  
"The new research found that many of the products implicated in liver injuries were bodybuilding supplements spiked with unlisted steroids, and herbal pills and powders promising to increase energy and help consumers lose weight."

These sound more like the ordered- from-the-flashing-side-bar type supplement, not the herbs-bought-from-the-healthfood-store type.
 
2013-12-22 06:19:24 PM  
Foxglove is all natural. Go ahead and eat as much as you can, what can it hurt?
 
2013-12-22 06:21:12 PM  
Lava is natural too, but you aren't supposed to eat it!
 
2013-12-22 06:24:18 PM  
Repeat after me:

There is no magic bullet.
You are eventually going to die.
Exercise and willpower are the only two things that can make you lose weight.
Good health is about self-awareness, good habits, and following the advice of professionals.
 
2013-12-22 06:24:21 PM  
Natural herbal supplements?

What's the harm?
 
2013-12-22 06:25:27 PM  

max_pooper: Badafuco: I went ahead and wrecked my liver the old fashioned way. I was "highlighter yellow" before I started treatment for cirrhosis.

Jaundice: if you're not the one suffering from it, it's hilarious.


I don't know how I could laugh at that...but I did!
 
2013-12-22 06:25:48 PM  

zzrhardy: phrawgh: Arsenic is natural...

So is beer.

Meanwhile, do you really want to be the one to counter the "natural is good" crowd with an argument just as retarded?


The argument isn't "natural is bad." It's that "natural does not automatically mean good."

Many supplements and assorted asinine replacement for ACTUAL drugs are marketed with being "natural" as a major selling point. Anyone who spends a moment doing critical thinking can realize that's complete bullshiat... it may well be natural. It doesn't make it helpful or even neutral.
 
2013-12-22 06:30:10 PM  

Relatively Obscure: Therion: Take new 500 milligram "extra-strengh" Tylenol regularly, and you'll be right as rain in no time!

This message brought to you by the FDA in partnership with McNeil-PPC

TYLENOL®, a Safe Choice for Every Generation When Used as Directed!

(ignore that milk thistle crap, it's unhealthy and unAmerican)

TFA seems to indicate that they don't feel it's usually the basic herb or whatever, but the fact that the makers of these things are sometimes just tossing god-knows-what into the mix because there's little or no oversight.  I dunno.  I wreck my body in other ways.


Don't take anything that isn't produced with high standards and don't be a dumbass and try to cure a lifetime of unhealthy choices overnight with a magic pill.
Acetominophan will destroy your liver as well.
 
2013-12-22 06:31:06 PM  
FTFA
But a federal law enacted in 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, prevents the Food and Drug Administration from approving or evaluating most supplements before they are sold. Usually the agency must wait until consumers are harmed before officials can remove products from stores. Because the supplement industry operates on the honor system, studies show, the market has been flooded with products that are adulterated, mislabeled or packaged in dosages that have not been studied for safety.

But hey at least there is almost no government intervention. Keep on dreaming about your libertarian paradise.

Did I herp and a derp?
 
2013-12-22 06:31:34 PM  
Got a vapid relative who is into all this new-age crap.  "If it's natural, it has to be okay."  "Let me know how the Hemlock smoothie tastes."
 
2013-12-22 06:34:19 PM  
www.paulsimon.com

"The problem is all inside your gut", she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to lose your liver.

You just pop the Pill, Phil
A little old herb, Herb

Fifty ways to lose your liver.
 
2013-12-22 06:37:30 PM  
DSHEA is a ridiculous piece of legislation. Obviously the lobbyists were out in force for that one.
 
2013-12-22 06:39:43 PM  

Ready-set: Anyone ever tried kratom?


I'm not sure if you're being rhetorical, but sure.
 
2013-12-22 06:41:38 PM  
You know what else is natural?  Botulism.  And yet you don't see people stupid enough.. to...

...huh.

We as a species are farked.
 
2013-12-22 06:42:28 PM  

FrancoFile: Repeat after me:

There is no magic bullet.
You are eventually going to die.
Exercise and willpower are the only two things that can make you lose weight.
Good health is about self-awareness, good habits, and following the advice of professionals.


Nevermind any advice from professionals. Natural health and the medical establishment both have an interest in selling you shiat. All you need is common sense.

Fruits and vegetables are good.
pizza and twinkies are bad.

Working out is good.
chronic drinking is bad.

it really is just that simple.
 
2013-12-22 06:46:26 PM  
You got liver damage from the green tea, sweetie?  Sorry to hear that.  Here, take some of this milk thistle extract, it'll protect your liver.  Sure, go ahead and take 3 or 4 at a time. Oh, that gave you a headache?  Don't worry, chew on this will bark extract, your headache will be gone in no time.  What's that?  The willow bark gave you heartburn?  I've got something for that.  Take this ginger, that should help.  Oh, the ginger made you sweaty?  No problem, this passion flower tea will help cool you down.  Oh, but you're sleepy now?  Here, have some ginseng.  The ginseng tastes nasty?  Mix in some stevia.

It's the same song and dance as prescriptions.  I've seen how it plays out.  Someone decides they're taking too many prescriptions and decides to go natural, then next thing you know, they're taking handfuls of the herbal stuff and probably paying far more out of pocket for it than they were when they were on the pharmaceuticals.
 
2013-12-22 06:47:37 PM  
Do you know what they call natural/herbal medicine that's proven to work?

 Medicine.
 
2013-12-22 06:51:20 PM  

Znuh: Jimsonweed is totally natural, too.




So is belladonna
 
2013-12-22 06:52:22 PM  
Yup, an acquaintance of mine was taking some dietary supplements, ended up with jaundice.
 
2013-12-22 06:52:57 PM  

Astorix: Znuh: Jimsonweed is totally natural, too.

So is belladonna


Let's not forget that ebola and smallpox are all-natural, too.
 
2013-12-22 06:54:32 PM  

Calm: Ready-set: Anyone ever tried kratom?

I'm not sure if you're being rhetorical, but sure.


Is that the one where you shiat in a two liter bottle and then huff it?
 
2013-12-22 06:54:35 PM  

Astorix: Znuh: Jimsonweed is totally natural, too.

So is belladonna


www.retro-cafe.com

Yeah. I don't think "Stevie Nicks Jimsonweed" would have had quite the same ring to it.
 
2013-12-22 06:54:45 PM  

Badafuco: I went ahead and wrecked my liver the old fashioned way. I was "highlighter yellow" before I started treatment for cirrhosis.


You must have a fantastic doctor, since there is no treatment for cirrhosis

(AKA scar tissue).
 
2013-12-22 06:54:50 PM  
Herbal supplements aren't regulated. You don't know if you're getting the same dosage from pill to pill or that what's inside is exactly what it says it is on the label. I view them as one step removed from taking ground rhino horn as a male enhancement and if you're lucky it's not cut with something like wood shavings...or worse.
 
2013-12-22 06:55:00 PM  
Standard rule of too much of anything, even normally beneficial things, is harmful.  Also, because it's unregulated, it's been hard for them to pinpoint exactly what makes them hepatoxic, but it's happened multiple times, so it's not necessarily impurities or any of that jazz, but the basic components of the tea itself x100.

from NIH:  http://livertox.nih.gov/GreenTea.htm

Mechanism of Injury


Preclinical and human data implicate the catechin component of green tea as the culprit of hepatotoxicity.  Approximately 10% of the green tea extract is composed of catechins; of these, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is present in highest concentration.  There is great variability in the concentration of green tea extract, EGCG and other components among marketed products, which may explain while some products have been implicated in hepatotoxicity.  Exposure of rat hepatocytes to EGCG has been shown to induce mitochondrial toxicity and generation of reactive oxygen species.  The association of liver injury with higher doses of green tea (as in extracts) suggests a component of direct hepatotoxicity, perhaps in the context of some degree of host susceptibility exacerbated by environmental features such as obesity, fasting or glutathionine depletion.
 
2013-12-22 06:55:11 PM  

the801: the article might not have been useless if it had mentioned what kind of doses of green tea extract people were taking. since a huge amount of that stuff is sold, and rates of liver damage are much, much lower, i'm thinking a lot of the people with severe liver damage from it were dosing on the if-one-is-good-then-ten-is-better principle.


it'd be nice if they provided a list and dosages of all potential damaging supplements
I take a few
Ginko Biloba(sp?)
Garlic pills
those fish oil pills

not in massive dosages though
 
2013-12-22 07:02:23 PM  
For a counterpoint: The story of Augusto Odone, who, when told his son had an incurable disease, stood and fought. And researched. An economist by training, he discovered a mixture of everyday oils which actually arrested the disease. From The Economist.

========================
"ADRENOLEUKODYSTROPHY (ALD) is a rare and terrible disease. A faulty X-chromosome lets very-long-chain fatty acids accumulate, and cripple the body. They eat away at the myelin sheath which insulates the nervous system. The victims-mostly boys-become mute, deaf, blind and paralysed. Then they die, often by choking on their own saliva. ALD is incurable, and until it struck Lorenzo Odone, the precocious young son of a World Bank economist, it was unstoppable.

By night, armed only with his high-school science education, he threw himself into research, scouring the library of the National Institutes of Health, trying to understand the way degradative enzymes crossed the peroxisome membrane.

A mixture of oleic and erucic acids (in effect, olive and rapeseed oil) should, he [Odone] reasoned, inhibit the effects of the deadly acids, soaking them up before they hurt the nervous system.

Many medical researchers thought his theory moonshine. How could an amateur find an answer that had eluded professionals? Moreover, erucic acid was dangerous-at least to rats. Mr Odone was undaunted. He found a retired British chemist, Don Suddaby, willing to concoct the mixture, and fed it to his sister-in-law. It did no harm to her, so he gave it to Lorenzo.

The levels of very-long-chain fatty acids in his son's blood dropped sharply. Though by now immobile and uncommunicative, Lorenzo lived."
========================

So yeah, there is a lot of BS out there in the supplement field. But there's also lobbying and propaganda from the big pharmaceutical companies and the politicians they pay. Caveat emptor, but don't presume Big Pharma or politicians have all the answers either. Or that their motives are pure.
 
2013-12-22 07:05:49 PM  
Poison Sumac is all natural too.

So is whale sperm.

Prefer my processed meat hot dogs, thank you.
 
2013-12-22 07:06:54 PM  

Relatively Obscure: That's why I stick with old-fashioned vodka.


Bourbon makes a better Old Fashion.
 
2013-12-22 07:09:17 PM  

JungleBoogie: For a counterpoint: The story of Augusto Odone, who, when told his son had an incurable disease, stood and fought. And researched. An economist by training, he discovered a mixture of everyday oils which actually arrested the disease. From The Economist.

========================
"ADRENOLEUKODYSTROPHY (ALD) is a rare and terrible disease. A faulty X-chromosome lets very-long-chain fatty acids accumulate, and cripple the body. They eat away at the myelin sheath which insulates the nervous system. The victims-mostly boys-become mute, deaf, blind and paralysed. Then they die, often by choking on their own saliva. ALD is incurable, and until it struck Lorenzo Odone, the precocious young son of a World Bank economist, it was unstoppable.

By night, armed only with his high-school science education, he threw himself into research, scouring the library of the National Institutes of Health, trying to understand the way degradative enzymes crossed the peroxisome membrane.

A mixture of oleic and erucic acids (in effect, olive and rapeseed oil) should, he [Odone] reasoned, inhibit the effects of the deadly acids, soaking them up before they hurt the nervous system.

Many medical researchers thought his theory moonshine. How could an amateur find an answer that had eluded professionals? Moreover, erucic acid was dangerous-at least to rats. Mr Odone was undaunted. He found a retired British chemist, Don Suddaby, willing to concoct the mixture, and fed it to his sister-in-law. It did no harm to her, so he gave it to Lorenzo.

The levels of very-long-chain fatty acids in his son's blood dropped sharply. Though by now immobile and uncommunicative, Lorenzo lived."
========================

So yeah, there is a lot of BS out there in the supplement field. But there's also lobbying and propaganda from the big pharmaceutical companies and the politicians they pay. Caveat emptor, but don't presume Big Pharma or politicians have all the answers either. Or that their motives are pure.


The moral of this story seems to be test new drugs on unwanted superfluous relatives.  If it doesn't kill them it must be helpful.
 
2013-12-22 07:13:58 PM  

Danger Avoid Death: "The problem is all inside your gut", she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to lose your liver.

You just pop the Pill, Phil
A little old herb, Herb

Fifty ways to lose your liver.


Just get yourself tea!
 
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