The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Support this site

    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Profiling and assumed herb-induced liver toxicity

    little-guy2Alternative explanations are common in about 47% of suspected drug-induced liver injury.

    Researchers in Germany raised the question of whether a similar frequency might prevail in cases of assumed herb-induced liver injury.

    First, the details.

    • 23 articles comprised of 573 cases of initially suspected herb-induced liver injury were reviewed.

    And, the results.

    • Alternative causes were evident in 278 of 573 cases (49%) of assumed herb-induced liver injury.
      • Hepatitis by various viruses (10%)
      • Autoimmune diseases (10%)
      • Nonalcoholic and alcoholic liver diseases (5%)
      • Liver injury due to treatment with a drug or other herbal (44%)
      • Liver involvement in infectious diseases (5%)
    • Biliary and pancreatic diseases were frequent alternative diagnoses (12%), raising potential treatment problems.
    • Other diagnoses were rare.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Thorough clinical evaluations and appropriate causality assessments [are needed] in future cases of suspected herb-induced liver injury.”

    Even when herbal-related toxicity is suspected, a definitive diagnosis is difficult to establish without getting a detailed history of herbal use and proper analysis of the product or plant material.

    Never be fooled into making a diagnosis involving herbals by default.

    8/7/13 8:53 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.