Does Black Cohosh Cause Liver Damage?
Black Cohosh is a dietary supplement derived from plant extracts that is used primarily for the management of menopausal symptoms. Recent studies suggest that there is concern that Black Cohosh may be associated with liver damage and in many countries these products may be required to carry a cautionary warning (Mahady et al, 2008):
“Black cohosh [Actaea racemosa L., formerly Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt.] is a botanical used mainly for the management of menopausal symptoms. Recently, regulatory agencies in Australia, Canada, and the European Union have released statements regarding the “potential association” between black cohosh and hepatotoxicity. In response, the Dietary Supplement Information Expert Committee of the US Pharmacopeia’s Council of Experts reviewed safety information for black cohosh products”
” Thirty nonduplicate reports on use of black cohosh products concerning liver damage were analyzed. All the reports of liver damage were assigned possible causality, and none were probable or certain causality. The clinical pharmacokinetic and animal toxicological information did not reveal unfavorable information about black cohosh.”
Conclusions about Black Cohosh:
“Based on this safety review, the Dietary Supplement Information Expert Committee determined that black cohosh products should be labeled to include a cautionary statement.”
[box type="important"]In short, again the study authors found sufficient evidence to warrant a cautionary statement regarding black cohosh and potential liver damage.[/box]
- Mahady GB, Dog TL, Barrett ML, Chavez ML, Gardiner P, Ko R, Marles RJ, Pellicore LS, Giancaspro GI, Sarma DN. United States Pharmacopeia review of the black cohosh case reports of hepatotoxicity. Menopause. 2008 Mar 12.