Seven cases of liver injury following consumption of mahogany seeds
Seven local cases of liver injury are possibly linked to the consumption of mahogany seeds, more commonly known as sky fruit, a herbal remedy traditionally used in South-east Asian countries.
According to the release put out by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday, the cases of liver injury were of varying severity, ranging from mild liver function impairment to liver failure.
Other than liver injuries, a patient had kidney injury, and another had multiple joint aches and pain.
While the mahogany seed is often used to help control blood sugar and high blood pressure, there are no clinical studies in humans supporting its effectiveness or safety.
HSA said that the patients were in their 40s to 70s, and five had to be hospitalised.
"The patients were reported to have recovered or were recovering after stopping the intake of the suspected products," it said, adding that they were taking other medication concurrently for underlying health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Five of them consumed mahogany seeds in its raw form, purchased from different sources in Singapore and Malaysia, taking between 10 seeds in a month and 18 seeds in a day.
The remaining two patients took the capsules intermittently or two capsules twice daily. One product was labelled as Natural Miracle Healer that the patient obtained from a blog shop in Singapore while the other was an unknown brand from Malaysia.
The liver injuries occurred 30 to 45 days after the consumption of mahogany seeds except in one patient, where the injury occurred 6 months later.
The HSA said: "Although there is no scientific data on the risk of liver injury from taking mahogany seeds, HSA advises consumers to exercise caution when considering the use of these products. HSA will continue to closely monitor the situation and update the public of any significant findings."