Agordia - One Health Place

Naturally bad? Herbs and cancer

2 min read
In this eByte, it’s herbs and safety as it relates to cancer. 
It’s a widespread belief that if something is natural, meaning it exists in nature… It’s safe. It can’t harm you. Some product manufacturers associate their natural products with this safety. 
Many widely prescribed medications are derived from plants. This includes metformin for type two diabetes and lovastatin for high cholesterol. 
In the United States, dietary supplements are not regulated the way pharmaceutical drugs are. And  many contain herbs. 
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So, a study looked at the reports over a 50 year period regarding individual herbs and cancer…
The result? One herb, guang fang ji or aristolochic acid, was tied to a type of cancer that occurs in the upper part of the urinary tract. This acid is a known carcinogen. 
It can also cause nephropathy, a disease state of the kidneys. 
Some products may mistakenly contain guang fang ji...As It can be confused with similar herbs, such as han fang ji, which has been used in some weight loss products. 
Guang fang ji is no longer legal in the US. However, it’s prevalent used in Taiwan also corresponds with Taiwan having the highest incidence rate of upper urinary tract cancers in the world.