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Information that I received from another list. Should be noted, Bill is a medical doctor.

Offered by Roger.

From: Bill <
Subject: Potential St John's Wort risk

Recent studies show that St John's Wort (SJW) is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOI's are a class of anti-depressant that works by blocking this enzyme which breaks down certain neurotransmitters in the brain (and rest of the body too). The increased levels of the neurotransmitter are what gives the anti-depressant effect.

MAOIs are very good anti-depressants, but are not used very often anymore because of the danger of hypertensive crisis. Monoamines (like adrenalin) have many actions in the body, one being constriction of arteries, another increasing cardiac output both of which increase blood pressure (think of the Hoover dam breaking). The combination of an MAOI and certain foods and medicines that contain monoamines can cause deadly increases in blood pressure. The foods include most aged cheeses, most fermented products like yogurt, beer and wine, chocolate, certain nuts, bananas and many. many others. Medicines include de-congestants, asthma medicines, some blood pressure medicines and hundreds of others.

Though the activity in SJW is weak, taking this drug, especially in large quantities and combined with the foods or medicines could in rare cases cause a hypertensive crisis (up to 300/200). It usually happens suddenly amd often the person dies from heart failure or a burst artery before they can be treated. I would recommend that anyone taking SJW obtain a complete list of the foods and medicines to avoid and avoid them or switch to another anti-depressant. I am wearing my professional cloak in this message. I'm not trying to scare people, but to provide info so you can make informed decisions.

Regards, Bill