In a recent article published in the medical journalAnnals of Internal Medicine, researchers from King’s College in London are warning healthcare providers and the public that a U.S. and European banned ingredient in diet and weight loss herbal drugs is still being used and is poisoning potentially millions of people.
The ingredient? Aristolochic acid, which has been shown to be responsible for kidney damage and causing bladder cancer. The use of aristolochic acid in diet products has resulted in a medical condition so prevalent that the medical community now identifies the condition as aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN) for patients suffering from kidney failure due to ingestion of the ingredient.
Aristolochic acid is found in a significant number of herbal remedies as well as weight loss products. Aristolochic acid is extracted from the plant Aristolochic clematitis, also known as birthwort.