Acute hepatitis associated with the use of natural product camu-camu


A 45-year-old previously healthy caucasian man was admitted for pruritus, scleral icterus and dark urine. The patient was reported to have taken a spoon of a preparation containing camu-camu (myrciaria dubia) a day. He took no other drugs and did not drink alcohol or use illicit substance. Laboratory studies reveiled an elevated aspartate transaminase of 403 U/L, and alanine transaminase of 1185 U/L, alkalinephosphatase of 335 U/L, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase of 300 U/L, and elevated total bilirubin of 142 μmol/L. His complete blood count was normal. Tests for viral, metabolic or autoimmune causes of liver injury were negative. Liver biopsy demonstrated centrilobular hepatocellular damage was compatible with drug toxicity which was not of very recent origin. Clinical and laboratory signs of liver injury gradually improved and the patient was discharged. Myrciaria dubia is used as a dietary supplement with antioxidant properties. To our knowledge, this is the first report of liver injury probably related to use of camu-camu. Exclusion of other causes and the histological diagnosis were compatible with drug toxicity render camu-camu which was most likely as the cause of acute heaptitis most likely. It is important to increase the awareness of both clinicians and patients about the potential dangers of herbal remedies in absence of reliable studies of clinical efficacy and benefit-risk assessment.

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Bertoli, R. , Mazzuchelli, L. and Cerny, A. (2013) Acute hepatitis associated with the use of natural product camu-camu. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 3, 214-216. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2013.33035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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