Following the receipt of various reports relating to cases of acute cholestatic hepatitis associated with the use of food supplements containing turmeric, the Ministry of Health published the following on 26th July:
"Following the investigations conducted on the cases of cholestatic hepatitis reported after taking food supplements containing extracts and preparations of Curcuma longa, and, in one case, after the consumption of Curcuma powder, the interdisciplinary group of experts specially established and the dietary and nutrition section of the technical committee for animal nutrition and health have concluded that, to this date, the causes are likely to be related to particular conditions of individual susceptibility, pre-existing alterations, even latent, of the hepato-biliary function or even to the concomitant intake of medications. The events reported involved different turmeric preparations and extracts and occurred after taking highly variable doses of curcumin, although in most cases the title of this substance was high and often associated with other ingredients to increase absorption. The analyses carried out on the samples of the products related to the cases of hepatitis have excluded the presence of contaminants or voluntarily added substances as possible causes of liver damage. From the examination of the scientific literature data and from the information provided by the other Member States, reports of cases of acute cholestatic hepatitis related to the use of turmeric extracts also emerged in other countries. Therefore, in the light of these conclusions, it has been decided to adopt a specific warning for the labeling of the supplements in question, aimed at advising against their use for subjects with alterations of the hepato-biliary function or with calculosis of the biliary tract and at inviting to consult the doctor in case of concomitant medication intake. For the turmeric powder, considering the history and dimensions of consumption as a food, no elements emerged for particular recommendations. The situation will continue to be followed carefully in relation to the emergence of any new scientific elements or data to be considered in order to protect consumer safety. "
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