Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

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Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby questor » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:37 am

From a NYTimes article this morning, I guess we should all be aware of this, I make pretty heavy use of supplements these days:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/sp ... h_20131222

But one product that patients used frequently was green tea extract, which contains catechins, a group of potent antioxidants that reputedly increase metabolism. The extracts are often marketed as fat burners, and catechins are often added to weight-loss products and energy boosters. Most green tea pills are highly concentrated, containing many times the amount of catechins found in a single cup of green tea, Dr. Bonkovsky said. In high doses, catechins can be toxic to the liver, he said, and a small percentage of people appear to be particularly susceptible.

But liver injuries attributed to herbal supplements are more likely to be severe and to result in liver transplants, Dr. Navarro said. And unlike prescription drugs, which are tightly regulated, dietary supplements typically carry no information about side effects. Consumers assume they have been studied and tested, Dr. Bonkovsky said. But that is rarely the case. “There is this belief that if something is natural, then it must be safe and it must be good,” he said.
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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby want2bike » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:09 pm

For sure the medical community does not want you taking supplements. They would rather see you buying their drugs. They want to put you on their drugs and keep you there for the rest of your life. There are problems with supplements but not necessarily with the vitamins and minerals. It has to do with the other ingredients in these supplements. Things like magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, and dyes for coloring are not a good thing. Be careful who you buy your supplements from and be careful who you believe. The bad health we have to day is a result of not enough vitamins and minerals. Best to get this from the food but if necessary they can come from supplement. Buy your supplements from someone who does not use bad things as other ingredients.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/magnesiu ... fects.html

http://nutrigold.com/
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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby NHE » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:40 am

questor wrote:From a NYTimes article this morning, I guess we should all be aware of this, I make pretty heavy use of supplements these days:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/sp ... h_20131222


The person in this article was taking a "Fat Burner" supplement which the article states is of the type most likely to be adulterated. Do we know if it was indeed the EGCG that caused the liver problems or could have it been something else added to the supplement?

NY Times wrote: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.

“There unfortunately are criminals that feel it’s a business opportunity to spike some products and sell them as dietary supplements,” said Duffy MacKay, a spokesman for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a supplement industry trade group. “It’s the fringe of the industry, but as you can see, it is affecting some consumers.” More popular supplements like vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fish oil had not been linked to “patterns of adverse effects,” he said.

The F.D.A. estimates that 70 percent of dietary supplement companies are not following basic quality control standards that would help prevent adulteration of their products. Of about 55,000 supplements that are sold in the United States, only 170 — about 0.3 percent — have been studied closely enough to determine their common side effects, said Dr. Paul A. Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an expert on dietary supplements.

“When a product is regulated, you know the benefits and the risks and you can make an informed decision about whether or not to take it,” he said. “With supplements, you don’t have efficacy data and you don’t have safety data, so it’s just a black box.”

Since 2008, the F.D.A. has been taking action against companies whose supplements are found to contain prescription drugs and controlled substances, said Daniel Fabricant, the director of the division of dietary supplement programs in the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. For example, the agency recently took steps to remove one “fat burning” product from shelves, OxyElite Pro, that was linked to one death and dozens of cases of hepatitis and liver injury in Hawaii and other states.
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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby cheerleader » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:46 am

Thanks for the link, questor. The doctor didn't link any research to back up his claims, so I wanted to dig deeper into EGCG, since that's been a mainstay of Jeff's regimen for several years now.
There are nine anecdotal reports of liver toxicity in humans, potentially related to EGCG consumption.
Studies in mice orally administered 1500mg (!!!) created oxidative stress and hepatoxicity
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2905152/

But in humans, EGCG has been shown in studies to prevent liver disease, act as a neuroprotective agent, and a chelator of heavy metals from the brain.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19756809
http://forschungsberichte.charite.de/FO ... 28373.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17447435

Here's a recent review of EGCG as a potential treatment in neurological disease:
http://www.epmajournal.com/content/4/1/5

It was the Charite (Berlin) EGCG studies in MS that prompted my interest. They administered 400mg daily doses of Sunphenon http://www.sunphenon.com/products-containing-sunphenon/
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00525668
(Results have not been published.)

There are some cases of toxicity and liver failure in the published literature---
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 21021/full

The mechanism of the toxicity of green tea extract is unclear. A study looking into the cytotoxicity of green tea extract on rat hepatocytes was unable to determine whether EGCG has toxic effects at plasma levels considerably higher than those achieved in human pharmacokinetic studies.13 Therefore, the possibility of an allergic reaction to the green tea itself—or, more likely, a component of the extract—or contamination during the growth of the leaves or during production of the extract has also been suggested. It is extremely unlikely that the modest weight loss induced by the green tea extracts plays a role in causing severe hepatotoxicity.


Most of the cases I found, like this woman, are people who are overweight and are taking a "fat burning" product. Which is this one case contained-
Green tea extract 120, Vitamin E 6, Wheat germ oil 10, Excipients in each capsule, Soy oil 154, Beeswax 13
Glycerol esters of fatty acids 13
Composition of the capsule
Gelatin 180
Glycerin

She was taking 7 capsules per day.

Moderation and making sure your product is of the highest quality is probably wise.
Consumption of between 700 and 2,000 milligrams per day led to toxic liver effects in nine anecdotal case reports, according to an article published by researchers from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in the March 2007 issue of “Chemical Research and Toxicology.”

“People who take less than 500 mg [of green tea concentrate or preparation] per day and spread the dose out over the course of the day are unlikely to have toxic side effects,” says Yang.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1964900/

hope this info helps,
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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby questor » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:19 pm

Thank you for the links, Cheerleader.

I posted this article as a caution to those of us who are taking possibly large amounts of over the counter supplements on a regular basis, not as a specific warning about catechins or EGCG supplements (which I have found personally to be a problem in terms of worsening brain fog and cognitive issues).

I am one of the lucky ones who experience a benefit from Ampyra wrt lower-body issues. But, I was instructed by my prescribing physician to discontinue taking this medication twice a day because of mildly deficient kidney function that puts me at higher risk of experiencing problems with twice-a-day Ampyra use (seizure risk). Mildly impaired kidney function is not uncommon in those over 50. This was assessed via blood test.

The NYTimes article caught my eye as a reminder that whatever we eat or swallow may need to be processed in our liver and kidneys, and if there is insufficiency in that respect, we potentially face a build-up of whatever we put into our systems that cannot be removed or processed efficiently. And, one of the possible effects of a build-up, especially in regard to those supplements that cross the blood brain barrier, is a possible change in efficiency in how nervous signals pass through areas of demyelination in our nervous systems. Ampyra works by improving efficiency. I imagine the opposite is also possible.
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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby PointsNorth » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:33 pm

Q,

Do you wrestle with spasticity? If so, does Ampyra help relieve?

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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby questor » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:54 am

PointsNorth wrote:Do you wrestle with spasticity? If so, does Ampyra help relieve?

PN,
Spasticity is not a particular problem for me, at least not in skeletal muscle tissue (smooth muscle tissue in the bladder and urinary tract is a different story). Ampya helps me with lower body strength and movement control, which translates to better walking speed/ability. I'm a little less clumsy and can walk longer distances with Ampyra. Since I've gone to once-a-day Ampyra, I have noticed that before taking my morning pill, I'm stiffer and walk more like Frankenstein in the morning before the pill takes effect.
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Re: Liver Toxicity and Over The Counter Supplements

Postby THX1138 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:44 am

questor, you may find magnesium helpful, as it apparently performs as a natural potassium channel blocker:

Here is a link to a book on Mg:
http://books.google.com/books?id=ql4KYD ... ne&f=false

The part about sufficient Mg being needed to keep potassium inside the cells makes me think of the potassium channel blocking effects of Ampyra.

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