Chinese herb nephropathy

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A condition that came to prominence in the 1990s when hundreds of young European women developed end-stage renal disease after receiving slimming pills containing Chinese herbs. The condition is also associated with a high incidence of urothelial tumours. It was eventually proved that the product was contaminated with aristolochic acid, a main toxic product of Aristolochia plant species. Its presence in the slimming regimen was the result of accidental substitution of the prescribed herb Stephania tetrandra (han fang-ji) by A. fangchi (guang fang-ji).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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