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Drug-induced autoimmune hepatitis associated with turmeric dietary supplement use
  1. Ashley L Lukefahr1,
  2. Sean McEvoy2,
  3. Chelsea Alfafara2,
  4. Janet L Funk2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Janet L Funk, jfunk{at}


Turmeric dietary supplement sales, which accounted for US$69 million in spending in 2016, have been increasing exponentially in the USA, making this one of the most popular botanical supplements sold in the USA. Herbal supplement use, which is generally regarded as safe by consumers, is not usually reported to healthcare providers. We reported here on a case of autoimmune hepatitis, occurring in a 71-year-old woman taking turmeric dietary supplements for the maintenance of cardiovascular health, which resolved rapidly following discontinuation of the turmeric supplements. Of particular note, turmeric use was not documented in the patient’s medical records and the potential causative role of the turmeric supplementation was ultimately identified by the patient rather than the healthcare providers. To our knowledge, this is the first documented report of turmeric supplement-induced autoimmune hepatitis.

  • complementary medicine
  • contraindications and precautions
  • gastrointestinal system
  • hepatitis other
  • healthcare improvement and patient safety

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  • Contributors AL, SM, CA and JF contributed to data acquisition, and AL and JF contributed to data analysis and preparation of the manuscript, which was approved by all authors.

  • Funding This research was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH-NCCIH, R34AT007837).

  • Disclaimer Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the NIH or NCCIH.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.