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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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.

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  • 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

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