Role of ethanol in kava hepatotoxicity

  title={Role of ethanol in kava hepatotoxicity},
  author={X. Z. Li and Iqbal Ramzan},
  journal={Phytotherapy Research},
Kava is known for its recreational, ceremonial and medicinal use in the Pacific. The aqueous non‐alcoholic drink of kava rhizome produces intoxicating, relaxing and soothing effects. While kava's medicinal effects receive worldwide recognition, kava‐containing products came under scrutiny after over 100 reports of spontaneous adverse hepatic effects. Many mechanisms have been postulated to explain the unexpected toxicity, one being pharmacokinetic interactions between kavalactones and co… 
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  • 2010
By improving kava quality and adherence to therapy recommendation under avoidance of comedication, liver injury by kava should be a preventable disease, at least to a major extent.
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The Kava Anxiety-Lowering Medication (KALM) project uses an aqueous rhizome extract of a noble cultivar of kava in participants with generalised anxiety and Generalised Anxiety Disorder, potentially providing an important step in the way forward with kava.
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Proposal for a kava quality standardization code.
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    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 2011
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Some “herbal highs” should be classified as harmful drugs since chronic administration has been linked with addiction and cognitive impairment; for some others taking into consideration only the recent trends of abuse, studies investigating these aspects are lacking.


Toxicity of Kava Kava
The present review focuses on the recent findings on kava toxicity and the mechanisms by which kava induces hepatotoxicity.
Hepatic injury due to traditional aqueous extracts of kava root in New Caledonia.
It is concluded that not only commercially available, but also traditionally prepared kava extracts may rarely cause liver injury and the increased activity of gamma glutamyl transferase in heavy kava consumers in the presence of normal or minimally elevated transaminases is probably not a sign of liver injury, but rather reflects an induction of CYP450 enzymes.
Aqueous kava extracts do not affect liver function tests in rats.
Kava ( Piper methysticum Forst. f., Piperaceae), prepared as the traditional aqueous infusion, was tested in the rat for possible effects on liver function tests and showed the lack of a toxic effect by kava on the liver.
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    British journal of clinical pharmacology
  • 2007
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