http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1185468">
 

Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

School of Chinese Medicine

Title

Qianliguang (Senecio scandens) safety dilemma: Dose is the key?

Language

English

Abstract

Qianliguang (Senecio scandens) is a common Chinese medicinal herb. Qianliguang-containing herbal proprietary products are registered as over-the-counter remedies in China and exported to Western countries. The safety of using Qianliguang and its products has raised general concerns because of a potential risk of the presence of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). A systematic toxicological study is thus required to verify this public concern. In the present article, we report, for the first time, that S. scandens contains nine hepatotoxic PAs with a content of 6.95-7.19 μg/g. At a dose equivalent to the daily intake recommended by the Pharmacopoeia of China, the total content of toxic PAs in Qianliguang was determined to be 3.48 μg/kg/day, which is far below the lowest dose to cause hepatotoxicity (15 μg/kg/day) suggested by the International Program on Chemical Safety. No significant hepatotoxic effects were observed in rats fed with the extract at this human-equivalent dose for 14 consecutive days. However, a single overdose of the herbal water extract (6 g/kg), which was about 8-fold higher than the recommended dose, produced typical PA-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Therefore, appropriate dosage guidelines should be implemented for the herbal industry, for export/import retailers, and for herbal medicine practitioners to ensure the safe and beneficial use of these herbal medicines.

Keywords

Asteraceae, Disease, Hepatic veno-occlusive, Pyrrolizidine alkaloid, Qianliguang, Senecio scandens

Publication Date

2009

Source Publication Title

Planta Medica

Volume

75

Issue

10

Start Page

1107

End Page

1111

Publisher

Georg Thieme Verlag

ISSN (print)

00320943

ISSN (electronic)

14390221

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