Bak Kut Teh might trigger liver failure?
According to Australian researchers, mixing the well-known beverage bak kut teh with prescription medications increases the risk of liver damage.
Four locally bought packets of pre-made bak kut teh were subjected to a study by researchers from Adelaide University to determine whether liver damage might be caused by the herbal soup.
83% liver cells destroyed when combined with the soup's ingredients
The investigation, which was reported in the journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology last month, discovered that all four soup packets had substantial toxicity to the cells.
The soup's components, according to the report, killed up to 83% of liver cells when combined with the cells.
Prof. Roger Byard, a researcher, claimed in an interview with ABC Radio Adelaide that one of the soup samples killed 15% of the cells when it was diluted ten times but still killed 83% of the cells when it was introduced to cells undiluted.
Although, it is still undefined which components in the soup could cause such result
The components in each packet, he claimed, varied and included ambiguous names like "spices," "pepper," and "salt." It was unclear, he declared, exactly what component of the soup could harm the liver as a result.
But, don't throw away your Bak Kut Teh yet!
Prof. Byard reassured that people shouldn't panic over these findings. He elaborated further by saying that:
"The study also builds on similar results about the toxic effects of herbal medicine on the liver when contracted with prescribed medication."
"But if anything has a therapeutical effect, it can have a therapeutical side effect and there's a whole lot of things that happen like herb-herb interactions or herb-drug interactions that we just don't know what's going on and that's the scary thing for me I think. The study concluded that not only herbal therapeutic agents may be responsible for in vitro hepatotoxicity but that this may also extend to herbal food such as bak kut teh."
The study came to the conclusion that herbal foods like bak kut teh, as well as herbal medicinal medications, may also be to blame for in vitro hepatotoxicity. It claimed that given the potential for some herbal products to interfere with different metabolic pathways, these findings should not be unexpected.
In short, eat everything in moderation, we're guessing?