A group of scientists from the University Hospital Geneva recently discovered that certain herbal supplements can harm heart health.
In their study, they discussed the case of a 56-year-old woman who experienced heart rhythm problems after using hemp oil and berberine supplements.
Herbal supplements are becoming more popular and are often seen as safe because they are made from natural ingredients.
However, these supplements contain a mixture of substances that can have strong effects on health.
Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from a cannabis plant called hemp, which is different from the marijuana drug because it contains little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychoactive effect and can help reduce anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, and other health problems.
Berberine is a chemical found in some plants like European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.
People use berberine for diabetes, high cholesterol or other fats in the blood, and high blood pressure.
The 56-year-old woman in the study was admitted to the emergency department because she fainted. She had experienced three prolonged episodes of dizziness in the past month.
The team found out that she had been taking hemp oil supplements containing CBD and cannabigerol (CBG), a chemical found in the cannabis plant, three to four times a day for four months due to stress from work.
She also admitted to taking up to six times the recommended dose of hemp oil supplements. In addition to that, she had been taking extra herbal supplements containing 250 mg of berberine for six weeks.
The woman was diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder after further tests. Her supplements were stopped during her hospital stay, and her heart rhythm gradually returned to normal.
She was discharged after six days and reported no dizziness or syncope and had a normal heart rhythm at her three-month follow-up.
The researchers suggest that berberine may lead to irregular heartbeat, while CBD can cause heart rhythm problems and lower blood pressure, and a slow heart rate.
Taking hemp oil and berberine supplements together can also increase the risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest.
The study highlights the potential risks of taking herbal supplements and emphasizes the importance of consulting with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about drug combo that could prevent stroke and heart disease, and Stanford study finds a new cause of heart attack.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that Vitamin D deficiency can increase heart disease risk, and results showing vitamin B6 linked to lower death risk in heart disease.
The research is published in Heart Rhythm Case Reports and was conducted by Elise Bakelants et al.
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