KUALA LUMPUR: Papaya leaves do improve platelet counts in dengue patient, and are unlikely to cause liver, kidney or heart failure says the Health Ministry. 

In a statement today, the Health Ministry said that research revealed that after taking the papaya leaf juice, an increase in platelet counts for normal dengue and hemorrhagic dengue class 1 patients had been recorded. 

"Clinical trials by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) on use of papaya leaf in dengue patients (both normal dengue and hemorrhagic dengue show that by taking a dosage of 30ml(two tablespoons) of juice from mature papaya leaves every day, platelet counts increase after three days.The platelet increase is just one of the processes that happens in a patient that affected by dengue. Research is still ongoing on the use of papaya leaf juice for dengue. The health ministry does not provide papaya leaf juice at any of its hospitals" 

The statement from the health ministry comes in the wake of claims by individuals highlighted in the media, claiming that the juice of papaya leaves was dangerous for consumption.

"A few days ago, there was a statement from certain parties stating that the leaves of papaya leaves contain a dangerous chemical known as cyanogenic glycoside which could cause liver, kidney or heart failure and ultimately death. Cyanogenic glycoside or 'bad sugar' is contained in 2000 species of plants, including food items such as tapioca, almonds, seeds, cinnamon, bamboo shoots, fruits that have kernels such as apricots, peaches, plums and cherries and other," the statement said. 

The statement went on to clarify that while the leaf did contain the chemical in small dosages (0.02 mg in every four leaves), a 60kg person would need to consume 12,000 papaya leaves at one time to cause any acute poisoning. 

The statement went on to say that during safety tests conducted by IMR on lab animals, it was revealed that even with a dosage of 2000mg per kg of body weight, no side effects were seen on the kidneys, liver and heart. 

"The results of the blood tests were normal".

Source from NST NEWS

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