Botanicals and Hepatotoxicity.Clin Pharmacol Ther 2018; 104(3):458-469CP
The use of botanicals, often in the form of multi-ingredient herbal dietary supplements (HDS), has grown tremendously in the past three decades despite their unproven efficacy. This is paralleled by an increase in dietary supplement-related health complications, notably hepatotoxicity. This article reviews the demographics and motivations of dietary supplement (DS) consumers and the regulatory framework for DS in the US and other developed countries. It examines in detail three groups of multi-ingredient HDS associated with hepatotoxicity: OxyElite Pro (two formulations), green tea extract-based DS, and "designer anabolic steroids." These examples illustrate the difficulties in identifying and adjudicating causality of suspect compound(s) of multi-ingredient HDS-associated liver injury in the clinical setting. The article outlines future directions for further study of HDS-associated hepatotoxicity as well as measures to safeguard the consumer against it.