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Asian Herbal Medicine For Weight Loss Can Do Serious Harm

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Millions of people in Asia who regularly use herbal medicines to lose weight, or treat asthma and arthritis, are at risk of kidney failure and bladder cancer, according to British researchers who reviewed worldwide cases of a condition known as aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN). The products -- available in China and other countries in Asia but banned in the U.S. and Europe -- are made using a botanical compound containing aristolochic acids. Because many cases of AAN go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, the researchers proposed a protocol that would make it easier for physicians to diagnose the condition.
M. Refik Gökmen et al. , "The Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Management of Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy: A Narrative Review", Annals of Internal Medicine, March 18, 2013, © The American College of Physicians
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