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Pharmacologia Vol. 8 (1), 2017
Research Article
Toxicity of Candlenut Seed (Aleurites moluccanus), A Purported Herbal Weight Loss Supplement
Armando Enrique Gonzalez-Stuart and Jose Ortiz Rivera
Abstract: This review examined the potential beneficial or toxic effects of a purported weight loss supplement commonly known as candlenut tree seed, "nuez de la India" and "semilla de Brasil" (Aleurites moluccanus), that is promoted throughout the world via the internet as a "safe" and "effective" option for the treatment of obesity as well as for a plethora of various health problems. An extensive internet search in peer reviewed medical journals and textbooks, as well as commercial websites was undertaken using the key words Aleurites moluccanus, "candlenut seed", "nuez de la India" and "semilla de Brasil". The parameters sought included clinical toxicity and safety in humans, as well as weight loss efficacy in clinical trials. No scientific journal articles were found support the use or efficacy of this seed for weight loss. Various documented cases from many countries around the world confirm both the seed’s toxicity, as well as its potential lethality. Candlenut seed is a potentially dangerous product that should be avoided by people who are seeking an alternative treatment for obesity.
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