Aristolochic acid is a rodent carcinogen found in the Aristolochia and Asarum species, both in the Aristolochiaceae family of plants. Aristolochic acid is composed of a ~1:1 mixture of two forms, aristolochic acid I and aristolochic acid II.
In addition to its carcinogenicity, aristolochic acid is also highly nephrotoxic and may be a causative agent in Balkan nephropathy. However, despite these well-documented dangers, aristolochic acid is still sometimes used as a herbal remedy for weight loss.
- FDA Warns Consumers to Discontinue Use of Botanical Products that Contain Aristolochic acid. April 11 2001. Website-http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%20~dms/addsbot.html
- FDA Concerned About Botanical Products, Including Dietary Supplements, Containing Aristolochic Acid. April 2001. Website-http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-bot.html
- Health Canada advising not to use products labelled to contain Aristolochia. August 2001. Website - http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2001/2001_91_e.html