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No licorice for transplant patients

Licorice can be dangerous after a transplant.

Licorice can be dangerous after a transplant.

Chemists in Taiwan are reporting that an ingredient in licorice blocks the absorption of cyclosporine, an anti-rejection drug used by transplant patients. Licorice diminishes the effect of cyclosporine and could cause patients’ bodies to reject the transplanted organ, warned the researchers.

Cyclosporine is also used for rheumatoid arthritis and some skin diseases.

The chemists suggest that anyone taking cyclosporine avoid licorice, which is found in foods and herbal medicines.

The active ingredient in licorice that has the negative effect is glycyrrhizin.

Findings were to be reported at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting.

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