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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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2 injured as bomb goes off at Ward Chair’s house

Gorkha Post

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DAMAK — An unidentified group detonated a bomb at the house of Bhim Poudel, a Ward Chairperson of the Damak Municipality Ward Number 7, last night, injuring two people including a woman.

The injured were hit by shrapnel due to the explosion. The explosion has also caused minor damages to the house which is located some 500 metres to the east of the Area Police Office, Damak.

It was a powerful explosion and it is not known who carried it out, police said.

Those injured in the incident are Semu Rai and Tilochan Pokhrel who had come to visit their relatives at the house next to Poudel’s house.

Both them who have been wounded in the hands and legs are being treated at the Lifeline Hospital in Damak. Rai is a staff at the same hospital.

Police has started an investigation into the case. Meanwhile, the Nepal Communist Party led by Netra Bikram Chand (Biplav) has today issued a press release saying those playing main role in evicting the landless squatters in the disputed market area in Damak. It had specifically named Wrad Chair Poudel and Mayor Romnath Oli.

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