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Canada warns on ephedra, kava

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Health Canada advises Aug. 21 that two unauthorized natural health products with ephedrine and kava could cause "serious adverse health effects including death." Life Choice Ephedrine HCL "contains an excessive amount of ephedrine," which may react adversely to caffeine or other stimulants, and has been found to be contaminated with bacteria, the agency reports in a same-day release. Health Canada recalled certain ephedra products in 2002 and currently advises their use only for nasal decongestion (1"The Tan Sheet" June 16, 2003, In Brief). Consumers should also discontinue use of Life Choice Kava Kava, the agency says, due to concerns of liver toxicity related to consumption of kava products. Health Canada halted Kava product sales in August 2002 and they are also banned in the U.K. (2"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 26, 2002, In Brief and 3"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 7, 2006, In Brief)

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