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Herbal remedies are perilous, warn researchers

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You may think that herbal health remedies are completely safe to use. But, the Baylor College of Medicine and Stony Brook University researchers claim that these remedies are really a wellbeing risk.

The use of herbal remedies has no guarantee of their safety as many herbs may contain toxic or carcinogenic substances, they said.

As per the study, the long term uses of these remedies are actually a health hazard. These remedies can cause acid nephropathy (AAN).

The symptoms include interstitial nephritis, renal failure and cancers of the urinary track.

The report, which is based on the 1997-2003 data taken from eight million people exposed to the plant in Taiwan, has been published in journal European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) reports.

The researchers found that Aristolochia’s compound called aristolactam can upset the DNA in renal tissues. It causes the malfunction in the TP53 tumour suppressor gene, consequently causing kidney cancer, sometimes even liver and bladder cancer.

Studies of patients with renal failure and cancer in Taiwan and China show that tens of millions of people in those countries are at risk of AAN.

In genetically susceptible people, consuming Aristolochia can lead to the formation of complexes between aristolactam, a compound in Aristolachia, and DNA in renal tissues.

These complexes lead to mutations in the TP53 tumor suppressor gene, which in turn initiate the process toward kidney cancer. Additional studies have shown that this process may also lead to the development of cancer in the liver and the bladder, researchers Donald Marcus, professor emeritus at Baylor and Arthur Grollman, distinguished professor of pharmacological sciences at Stony Brook University, explained.

Although Aristolochia has been used as a herbal remedy for more than 2,000 years, “the intrinsic toxicities were not recognised, owing, in large part, to the latency period between exposure and the onset of symptomatic disease, and, in part, to genetic determinants that confer susceptibility to only approximately five percent of those exposed to this herb”, said the authors.

The researchers point out that their findings do not necessarily belittle the use of traditional healing practices.

They only want to shed light on the possible health problems of handing out treatments that have not been scientifically proven to be safe.

They hope that this will encourage health authorities to take actions to improve patient safety and treatment efficacy.

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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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