A study in the U.S. said that a toxic natural ingredient found in a very popular herbal medicine was connected to over 50% of the urinary tract cancer cases in Taiwan. In Taiwan, traditional remedies are used widely amongst citizens of the country. Aristolochic Acid is a carcinogen that is very potent. It is found in Aristolochia plants, one of the most common ingredients in remedies in Asia that aid in joint pain, stomach ailments and weight loss.
For many years, the ancient herbal remedy has been promoted across the globe as helping everything from childbirth to gout however, scientists are aware it has serious risks of developing urinary cancers and kidney disease. The latest study found it is able to interact with user’s DNA and creates signals in tumor suppressing genes indicating a carcinogen had been consumed.
Previous research showed that nearly 33% of the people in Taiwan have taken AA recently. Rates in the country of kidney and urinary tract cancer are close to four times more than in most Western countries. Use of AA in the West is much less common than in Taiwan and other Asian countries.
The study’s lead author of Stony Brook University, Arthur Grollman said, “The tumor is rare and in Taiwan there is a higher incidence that any other country anywhere in the throughout the world.”
Because Taiwan has the highest rate of this renal disorder and cancer, it gave us the idea something was happening on over there,” he concluded.
Researchers based their study on 151 people who had urinary tract cancer, which 6 in 10 showed the mutations that are linked to AA, the Taiwanese herbal remedy.