Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unsolved mystery of kava toxicity

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A major new review of scientific knowledge on kava -- a plant used to make dietary supplements and a trendy drink with calming effects -- has left unsolved the mystery of why Pacific Island people can consume it safely, while people in the United States, Europe and other Western cultures sometimes experience toxic effects.

A major new review of scientific knowledge on kava -- a plant used to make dietary supplements and a trendy drink with calming effects -- has left unsolved the mystery of why Pacific Island people can consume it safely, while people in the United States, Europe, and other Western cultures sometimes experience toxic effects.

The article appears in American Chemical Society's journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Line Olsen and colleagues point out that for centuries, people of the Pacific Islands have safely consumed a beverage made from crushed kava roots. Kava'scalming effects made it popular in Western cultures in the 1990s, when people also began to use a herbal supplement for the treatment of anxiety, emotional stress and sleep problems. But in 2001, reports of liver damage among Westerners who took kava supplements gained widespread attention. Many Western countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, ban or regulate the sale of kava products. To determine why kava is toxic to some people but not to others, the researchers sifted through the scientific studies published on the topic.

Their review of 85 scientific studies on kava toxicity found no consensus on kava toxicity, despite several theories that have emerged over the years. Culprits include methods for preparing kava, the particular species of kava used, the possible toxicity of substances produced by the body when kava is digested and genetic differences among consumers. "To date, there remains no indisputable reason for the increased prevalence of kava-induced hepatotoxicity in Western countries," the researchers say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Line R. Olsen, Mark P. Grillo, Christian Skonberg. Constituents in Kava Extracts Potentially Involved in Hepatotoxicity: A Review. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2011; 110503130451058 DOI: 10.1021/tx100412m

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Unsolved mystery of kava toxicity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713102019.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, July 14). Unsolved mystery of kava toxicity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713102019.htm
American Chemical Society. "Unsolved mystery of kava toxicity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713102019.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins