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By Rhiannon Riches
Assistant Editor


At least six Australians needed organ transplants in the past five years after taking herbal supplements, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported yesterday.

One transplant recipient reportedly commenced taking herbal supplements on the advice of his optometrist.

The ABC reported that the West Australian man, who was an industrial chemist, wanted to do all he could to retain his vision when his optometrist told him he had macular degeneration.

‘He recommended that I take a herbal supplement to minimise the risk of it spreading and getting worse,’ he told the ABC.

The ABC reported that when the Australian product he had been taking was no longer available, the patient found a similar multi-vitamin on an overseas website, and that within months he was in hospital, having lost 90 per cent of his liver function, and in need of a liver transplant.

According to the ABC report, doctors found the most likely reason for his illness was the multi-vitamin that contained bark extract and green tea extract.

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