The authors to the article had a few

The
article I will be critiquing is called Aristolochic
acids and their derivatives are widely implicated in liver cancers in Taiwan
and throughout Asia. The article had many contributions from a variety of
different authors and has an impact factor of 37.205 in 2016. This article
looks to find evidence on whether or not the exposure of Aristolochic acids
(AA) would decrease, following the ban in Taiwan for herbal remedies containing
the AA signature. Although the evidence of a decrease in the AA signature was
not the result. Turns out that the exposure to AA had stayed about the same.
Why would this be? Well the authors to the article had a few ideas for this.
One reason being the fact that many of these AA containing herbal remedies were
continued to be used by many even following the ban. There were also reports
that Chinese medical practitioners continued to prescribe their patients with
some of these AA containing herbal remedies during the first year the ban took
place. It is apparent that plants containing high dosages of AA are widely
available for purchase online and often are mislabeled. But Aristolochic acids
aren’t the only concern. There is also aristolactams. There isn’t to much
research on them but are thought to be mutagenic metabolites of AA and interact
with DNA directly.

There
is also evidence that supports the theory that the signatures being observed is
caused by AA, or possibly even with the help of other related/unrelated
compounds. Studies conducted on animals have shown evidence that AA adducts
along with AA mutagenesis occur within the liver. The exposure of AA in Taiwan
was more prevalent compared to other areas. Aristocholoic acids were also found
in certain groups of Asian countries. This goes to show the prevalence of AA
and how they are spread throughout different areas of the world. The author
encourages opportunities for primary and secondary prevention when it comes to
regulating such AA containing plants. Although China and Taiwan only choose to
regulate specific plants containing AA. It is also interesting to note that the
sale of AA containing plants is not prohibited within the United States even
though evidence shows that it is dangerous. Although the herbs must be
correctly labeled and not detailing any health benefits from ingesting such a
substance.

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What
does this mean? AA containing plants can easily be bought online and accessed a
numerous of other ways. The author hopes to discourage the use of these AA
containing plants by providing evidence of its harmfulness. Also, that labeling
of these herbs tend to get pretty difficult for supplier to know exactly which
multiherb substances contain AA. The author offers a suggestion for more
thorough measures be taken to identifying herbal products in an attempt for
primary prevention. The author also offers a suggestion for secondary
prevention, for those who have already resulted in exposure to AA, this would
be in the form of advanced screenings that would be able to detect AA-
associated cancers.

Overall, I would say that
the article has succeeded in providing public awareness on the seriousness of
Aristocholoic acids and how dangerous they can be. The authors writing style
was clear and concise, while also be easy to follow. I like the authors ideas when
it comes to primary and secondary prevention. The regulation of AA containing
plants is lacking in many countries, including our own. Meaning that until
there is some type of regulations put in place for these AA containing plants,
one can only spread the word until there is something done about it. Based on
the evidence provided within this study, I’m curious to why these plants have
not been banned completely in all areas of the world. Out of everything I read
within the article I was in particularly intrigued on the lack of a decrease in
exposure of the AA signature following the ban in Taiwan back in 2003. It seems
to me that many people continued to use these AA contain herbs even following
the ban. I am curious to why somebody would continue to use something that was
going to cause you cancer. But access to such plants are still widely available.
Perhaps the lack of regulation is the reason to blame for the continued use of
such plants. It seems to me that they understand the potential dangers that
come along with the plants, but the countries refuse to completely do away with
them. It may be more time consuming to try to regulate these types of herbs
when it comes to mixed varieties, but it is essential to prevent exposure to
such plants. I believe that this article is important for providing evidence to
support the connection between the AA signature mutation found with some herbs
and liver cancer. I enjoyed reading this article and thought that it provided
valuable information on the prevalence along with the dangers of AA related
herbs.

 

 

 

 

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