CDC links kratom to 2 cases of salmonella infection

Mary Esch  AP

Mary Esch AP

"We don't know exactly which brand or which products are contaminated", says Laura Gieraltowski, PhD., head of the CDC's Foodborne Outbreak Team.

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant in the coffee family that's native to Southeast Asia.

And, the FDA says after supplements Botany Bay, Enhance Your Life and Divinity get yanked off the market, Divinity won't include kratom in any more products. Herbal products containing kratom are gaining popularity in the USA - people report taking these products to treat pain, anxiety or depression, as well as symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced the launch of an investigation into a multistate outbreak of Salmonella I 4, [5], 12:b:- infections that have been linked with the botanical substance kratom. This outbreak associated with kratom-containing capsules, teas and powders, underscores the risk that harmful bacteria may contaminate these products when not subjected to manufacturing controls to eliminate that risk, in addition to the overall safety concerns for kratom itself.

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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. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] advocated consumers not to utilize Kratom based on the agency's discovery that it contained opioid compounds. But the supplement made headlines a few weeks ago, when Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials said that kratom contains the same addictive, potentially risky chemicals found in opioids, and submitted a review to that effect to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). That makes definitively labeling kratom as the cause of death impossible.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the FDA stated that, "Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioid".

Gottlieb acknowledged that some may be using kratom to wean themselves off of more powerful opioids. Kratom has discovered a following in the United States, where there are 3 million to 5 million clients, as per the American Kratom Association.

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