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Health - Kava-Kava DOES NOT Cause Liver Damage

Discussion in 'Kava-Kava' started by Kristy, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Kristy

    Kristy Newbie

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    SWIM has just made an order of kava but was wondering how much liver damage it can cause exactly?

    SWIM has read up on kava and has read it can cause liver damage, but how much compared to say, a benzo??

    Thanks
     
  2. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2

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    The "tests" done on Kava~Kava that indicated it causes liver-damage were done by corrupt researchers under the supervision of American governmental agencies. The people they studied were alcoholics with severe liver-damage from drinking booze. They twisted the results (and outright lied) to indicate Kava~Kava had caused the damage!

    Studies conducted on Islanders who have used Kava~Kava all their lives in Tonga and Fiji found no liver-damage whatsoever.
     
  3. Kristy

    Kristy Newbie

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    Thanks nagognog, SWIM is glad to hear this.

    (although its shocking of the gov'ment). SWIM is looking forward to the order arriving even more now :)
     
  4. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Some say the liver damage was from products including Kava stem/leaf (which contains some substance toxic to the liver, and is not used by the natives)... genuine root powder should be no problem. For this reason, I would personally avoid extracts and stick to the real thing.

    Others feel it's some sort of conspiracy by big pharmaceutical companies to prevent Kava from eating into the sale of prescribed anti-anxiety meds. I tend to believe the first explanation (stem/leaf) more, but don't totally discount the second. It could even be a combination of both.

    As for how much damage... there were reports of destroyed livers requiring transplants. Not to freak you out, just passing along what I heard.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  5. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2

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    In Tonga and Fiji, the Catholic church has been trying to ban Kava for decades. They have a vested interest in the liquor industry there, and Kava cuts down on the sales. No doubt peaceful, friendly people drinking Kava don't have as much to confess on Sundays as do those who guzzle whiskey and beat up folks.

    A friend of mine just returned from Tonga and has many stories of using Kava~Kava in the traditional way with the locals. Perhaps I can talk him into writing these up.
     
  6. ponygirl

    ponygirl Silver Member

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    If you're worried, have your liver enzymes tested. My liver is damaged (but getting better!) from some meds the /Doctors/ gave me. Um...thanks Doc. A simple test will tell you the damage and your liver will repair itself.
     
  7. Bajeda

    Bajeda Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?

    Title: Safety of ethanolic kava extract: Results of a study of chronic toxicity in rats.
    Author: Sorrentino, L Add.Author / Editor: Capasso, A Schmidt, M
    Citation: Phytomedicine. Volume: 13, Issue: 8, Date: 2006 08 21, Pages: 542-9 Year: 2006

    Abstract:
    BACKGROUNDS: Recently, potential liver toxicity was discussed with the intake of kava extract preparations (Piper methysticum) as anxiolytic drugs. The aim of this study was to test chronic toxicity in rats by oral application of an ethanolic kava full extract.
    METHODS
    : Wistar rats of both sexes were fed 7.3 or 73 mg/kg body weight of ethanolic kava extract for 3 and 6 months. The animals were examined for changes in body weight, hematological and liver parameters, and macroscopical and microscopical histological changes in the major organs.
    RESULTS
    : No signs of toxicity could be found.
    CONCLUSIONS
    : The results are in accordance with the medical experience regarding the use of kava preparations and the long tradition of kava drinking in the South Pacific island states. Specifically, the results do not back the suspicion of potential liver toxicity.


    ^^^^^^

    Have the pdf of the article for the abstract above but need to optimize it before I can upload. It basically appears that there is no liver toxicity concern where kava is concerned, just as Nag said.



    Heres another study alraedy in the archive ----> Kava-kava and Anxiety: Growing Knowledge About the Efficacy and Safety

    Its a bit older so it has a more vague conclusion but the report points towards the same general results as the abstract above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
  8. mouthwater

    mouthwater Gold Member

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?


    Kava Hepatotoxicity: Are we any closer to the truth?

    Kava kava: examining new reports of toxicity.
    Liver function test abnormalities in users of aqueous kava extracts.
    It seems that chances of hepatic complications are very slim, but SWIY should be aware that liver toxicity has occured in other users, although this may be the result of idiosyncrasy. SWIY should dose Kava responsibly to avoid possible health dangers.
     
  9. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?

    Please remember that the original "study" done, with the blessing of the government, used last-stage alcoholics as subjects. Voila! Look! Look! They have liver damage!

    And these same idiots will continue to try to get us all to believe that this gentle, soothing, peaceful little plants will RIP YER LIVER OUT AND BURN IT!!
     
  10. Bajeda

    Bajeda Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?


    Please note the dates of those studies as well as the conditions under which they were taken.

    More recent studies analyzing the supposed trend of liver damage as a whole as well as those undertaking more specific non meta-analytical studies have found the possibility of liver damage to be extremely unlikely.
     
  11. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?

    I highly suspect that this is the reason why kava-kava has been banned:
     
  12. Bajeda

    Bajeda Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?


    Its somewhat reminiscent of the whole l-tryptophan debacle, http://www.ceri.com/trypto.htm



    Where exactly has Kava-Kava been banned? I think in the Netherlands and Germany it is controlled but am unsure of where else.
     
  13. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?

    Banned in Canada. Possibly Australia - have to ask a friend.
     
  14. Bajeda

    Bajeda Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: how much liver damage from Kava-Kava?

    From what I could find with a quick search, Kava is controlled in some way in Australia, Finland, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. In Germany it is regulated as a medicinal substance of some type I believe rather than as a banned drug, though I'm not really sure how this works.
     
  15. Bajeda

    Bajeda Platinum Member & Advisor

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    European Union Kava Report 2003

    Refutes the argument that the 76 cases of hepatoxicity somehow related to Kava that occurred in Europe is indicative of Kava being toxic to the liver. Only four cases actually were related to Kava intake. Plenty of scientific evidence has shown Kava to be an extremely safe substance to use. This report argues for EU member states that banned Kava to rethink their position.

    Another look at the issue here, speculating a bit.

    And another theory here as to how, if at all, Kava could have contributed to the hepatoxicity cases noted in Europe.
     
  16. Pino

    Pino Gold Member

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    Kava Kava could be bought in pharmacies in the Netherlands as an extract. After two or three cases of liver failure after kava kava use, it was prohibited as untested medicine. (I am not sure about that, maybe it is classified as hard drug). I can remember some details of one of the cases. It was a guy, who took 40 kava kava pills. That is about 8 grams of kavalactones! I think there were some economical reasons behind the prohibition. Nobody is banning alcohol because someone is drinking 40 beers (or 40 Big Macs at once).

    SWIM misses the stuff, it was a nice and clean buzz. He stopped drinking alcohol and only took some Kava. Alcohol is a more inferior product, if SWIM compared it with kava kava.
     
  17. imyourlittlebare

    imyourlittlebare Palladium Member

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    I am a neuroscientist currently doing research on kava-kava. if prepared with just kava root, the literature appears to support that kava does not cause liver damage. however, full plant may so just to be on the safe side (especially if you are a regular user of alcohol or my most hated drug tylenol) be wary of plant material you buy. in comparison to tricyclic antidepressants kava is much better. Although this is somewhat disputed it is my professional opinion that benzo's do in fact cause more deaths per million than kava because of their mechanism. some people argue but i dont buy it. kava is a wonderful medicine. im going to continue for its research and validity to help create a better market for it in the future for people to relax. its unfair to make anxious people nervous that they are going to be accused of being an addict if they take all their valiums. It would be much better to unrestrict an anxious persons usage to promote them to becoming a more healthy person free of at least that worry.
     
  18. krazykungfu

    krazykungfu Newbie

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    Hey Guys, found what SWIM thinks is an interesting article on this subject - just throwing it out there to see other SWIY's opinions.... SWIM believes strongly that kava is safe in it's traditional form - but as for extracts SWIM believes that they're still probably OK but SWIM doesn't have the scientific background or the resources to find out definitively either way.... So for the time being this means that SWIM will steer clear of these.... SWIM has tried to make extracts and some do work but the only benefit gained is not having to really taste the stuff. SWIM thinks that if this is a problem for others then push through it for a while and once SWIY understands the effects, the flavour is no longer a problem - SWIM also understands that others might not be able to obtain fresh ground up kava root and extracts are the only way - if this is the case SWIM thinks you should monitor yourself carefully and don't risk harming your body just to get "high" or fell less anxious because I'm sure liver damage would make someone anxious too....

    PS SWIM doesn't really know who wrote the article and doesn't claim it to be the unbiased truth but it seems fairly well informed to the casual researcher...
     

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  19. Kratom23

    Kratom23 Newbie

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    Kava is safe, but just treat it with respect.
     
  20. imyourlittlebare

    imyourlittlebare Palladium Member

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    2009 article and the World Health Organization confirm the safety of kava. Only use products that contain the root of the plant and only extracts where water was used. Acetone and ethanol extracts can cause chemical changes that can lead to problems and same with the rest of the plant. If anyone wants the articles tell me how to post and I will.

    Furthermore, I wanted to let everyone know. I am a week away from presenting my work at a pharmacological conference on kava and test-anxiety. I am two weeks away from sending it to get published. Kava-kava has nootropic effects and at a dose of 500 mg (150 mg kavalactones), test-anxiety is significantly reduced.

    imyourlittlebare added 91 Minutes and 42 Seconds later...

    how would I post my study? I have a pdf of my poster and sources about the pharmacological effects and what I did. As far as my paper goes, I have a full paper from my thesis and a shorter paper for publication not yet in pdf form. Can anyone inform me how to put up a pdf?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009