Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) food supplements and hepatotoxicity: an integrated evaluation approach

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Abstract

Introduction. Turmeric is the common name for the rhizome of Curcuma longa L. In
the recent years, food supplements containing turmeric have been marketed and widely
used by an increasing number of consumers. Spontaneous reports of suspected adverse
reactions to food supplements are collected within the Phytovigilance system.
Methods. An ad hoc multidisciplinary group investigated the suspected cases of hepatotoxicity reported to the Italian Phytovigilance system associated with the assumption of turmeric food supplements with the methodology specific to pharmacovigilance as well
as for the evaluation of the quality and safety of food supplements.
Results. A cluster of 28 spontaneous reports of acute hepatitis, mostly with cholestasis,
associated with turmeric products were sent to the Italian Phytovigilance system in the
first six months of 2019.
In all cases, except one, the causality assessment was at least possible. The suspected
products were collected and analysed for the presence of drugs, heavy metals, aflatoxins,
pesticides, synthetic dyes and pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Conclusion. On the basis of the results of all the activities performed by multidisciplinary
group, regulatory intervention was taken. This study highlights the importance
of developing an integrated evaluation approach for the evaluation of the adverse effects
associated with the use of food supplements.

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Authors

Francesca Menniti-Ippolito - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Ilaria Ippoliti - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Augusto Alberto Pastorelli - Istituto Superiore di Sanità http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5326-3881

Ilaria Altieri - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Francesco Scalise - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Barbara De Santis - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Francesca Debegnach - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Carlo Brera - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Roberta Pacifici - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Simona Pichini - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Manuela Pellegrini - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Maria Concetta Rotolo - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Silvia Graziano - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Giovanna Palazzino - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Giuseppina Multari - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Francesca Romana Gallo - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Bruno Neri - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana, Rome, Italy

Luigi Giannetti - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana, Rome, Italy

Katia Russo - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e della Toscana, Rome, Italy

Giorgio Fedrizzi - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e della Emilia Romagna, Bologna, Italy

Stefania Bonan - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e della Emilia Romagna, Bologna, Italy

Gabriela Mazzanti - Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

Paola Angela Moro - Poison Control Center, Niguarda Hospital Milan, Italy

Emanuela Salvi - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Fabio Firenzuoli - Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy

Andrea Valeri - Italian Society of Homeopathic Medicine, Mirandola, Modena, Italy

Ugo Moretti - University of Verona, Verona, Italy

Giuseppe Traversa - Italian Medicinal Agency, Rome, Italy

Marco Silano - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Paolo Stacchini - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Concetta Boniglia - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

How to Cite
Menniti-Ippolito, F., Ippoliti, I., Pastorelli, A. A., Altieri, I., Scalise, F., De Santis, B., Debegnach, F., Brera, C., Pacifici, R., Pichini, S., Pellegrini, M., Rotolo, M. C., Graziano, S., Palazzino, G., Multari, G., Gallo, F. R., Neri, B., Giannetti, L., Russo, K., Fedrizzi, G., Bonan, S., Mazzanti, G., Moro, P. A., Salvi, E., Firenzuoli, F., Valeri, A., Moretti, U., Traversa, G., Silano, M., Stacchini, P., & Boniglia, C. (2020). Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) food supplements and hepatotoxicity: an integrated evaluation approach. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 56(4), 462-469. Retrieved from https://annali.iss.it/index.php/anna/article/view/1146
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