Herbal remedies containing aristolochic acid (AA) have been designated to be a strong carcinogen. This review summarizes major epidemiologic evidence to argue for the causal association between AA exposure and urothelial carcinoma as well as nephropathy. The exposure scenarios include the following: Belgian women taking slimming pills containing single material Guang Fang Ji, consumptions of mixtures of Chinese herbal products in the general population and patients with chronic renal failure in Taiwan, occupational exposure in Chinese herbalists, and food contamination in farming villages in valleys of the Danube River. Such an association is corroborated by detecting specific DNA adducts in the tumor tissue removed from affected patients. Preventive actions of banning such use and education to the healthcare professionals and public are necessary for the safety of herbal remedies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)