26 Aug 2004

New Caledonian study shows liver damage link to kava was wrong

8:31 pm on 26 August 2004

There's been further confirmation that kava may not be as toxic as it has been made out to be, at the symposium on French research in New Caledonia's capital Noumea.

Results of a three-year long study by Noumea-based doctor Yann Barguil suggests that kava can only cause liver stimulation which is not a health risk.

His study may create an impact in Europe where kava was declared an unsafe drug and consequently banned three years ago.

Dr Barguil's study confirmed what other recent studies have shown: that cases of alleged liver damage due to kava involved new consumers of the product and not long-term kava users.

"People who are chronic kava drinkers are not going to be ill. I mean there is no liver toxicity for chronic kava drinkers. Sometimes there are rare liver accidents which are due to susceptability. Only a few rare people could do these sorts of accidents."