Lycium barbarum: A new hepatotoxic “natural” agent?

      An increased number of originals, concerning basic aspects of complementary alternative medicine (CAM), have been published during the last years. However, the number of human controlled clinical trials on its therapeutic value has not increased in parallel [
      • Jiang M.
      • Yang J.
      • Zhang C.
      • et al.
      Clinical studies with traditional Chinese medicine in the past decade and future research and development.
      ]. Recent surveys in developed countries have demonstrated a sharp rise in the use of botanical drugs and the estimated out-of pocket expenditures for these “natural” medicines. According to WHO, up to 80% of the population in Africa depends on traditional medicine for primary health care, whereas in China herbal medicines account for 30–50% of total medicinal consumption. This world-wide phenomenon is due to several reasons, including the easy availability and low cost of natural remedies. The possibility to get them via the internet has markedly contributed to the increase in their sales. These circumstances make it difficult to detect side effects in CAM and emphasize the crucial role of medical postmarketing surveillance [
      • Jimenez-Saenz M.
      • Martinez-Sanchez M.D.C
      Camellia Sinensis liver toxicity.
      ]. We report a case of hepatotoxicity related to the use of Lycium barbarum (Goji), which has not been reported before.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      References

        • Jiang M.
        • Yang J.
        • Zhang C.
        • et al.
        Clinical studies with traditional Chinese medicine in the past decade and future research and development.
        Planta Med. 2010; 76: 2048-2064
        • Jimenez-Saenz M.
        • Martinez-Sanchez M.D.C
        Camellia Sinensis liver toxicity.
        J Hepatol. 2007; 47: 295-302
        • Amagase H.
        • Nance D.M.
        A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the general effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum (Goji) Juice, GoChi.
        J Altern Complement Med. 2008; 14: 403-412
        • Bent S.
        • Ko R.
        Commonly used herbal medicines in the United States: a review.
        Am J Med. 2004; 116: 478-485
        • Potterat O.
        Goji (Lycium barbarum and L. chinense): phytochemistry, pharmacology and safety in the perspective of traditional uses and recent popularity.
        Planta Med. 2010; 76: 7-19