Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Medical | By

Kratom supplements have a new side effect: Salmonella

Kratom supplements have a new side effect: Salmonella

Those reports loosely connected kratom to 44 deaths, but in all but one case, the people who died were found to have been taking multiple drugs, including other opioids in many cases.

Laura Gieraltowski, the CDC's foodborne outbreak team lead, said it's not yet known how the kratom would have come to be contaminated with salmonella, noting it could have happened in processing, or the plants could have been contaminated in the field.

When patients were interviewed about what they ate in the months before becoming ill, eight of 11 patients (73 percent) said they had consumed kratom pills, powers or teas, according to the CDC. "In addition to this outbreak, kratom is an opioid; expected to have similar risk of addiction, abuse and death".

Missouri has no reported cases.

Salmonella cases tied to backyard poultry set a record high in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Salmonella is a bacteria that most commonly associated with foods like eggs and poultry, but in recent months it has been cropping up in usually unsuspected foods like spices. Unfortunately, that reality is being reflected in shipments of kratom products contaminated with salmonella. It issued a public health advisory in November about health risks of the herbal supplement.

In the meantime, the CDC says because the source of salmonella contamination has not been identified, kratom should not be consumed in any form. The Company has also agreed to stop selling kratom-containing products.

These products are made from the eponymous plant. The plant, which is native to Southeast Asia, is a legal commodity and can be purchased online.

For her part, Day believes strongly that kratom can help a great many people wanting to get off opioids or avoid using them for pain management.

But because there are no FDA-approved uses of the substance, the agency can do nothing more than warn the public. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] advocated consumers not to utilize Kratom based on the agency's discovery that it contained opioid compounds. Federal regulators unsuccessfully tried banning the plant in 2016.

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