PUTRAJAYA, Jan 31, 2016:

The Health Ministry is still conducting studies on the use of papaya leaf juice to cure dengue fever, says its director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said clinical studies by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) on the papaya leaf juice on a dengue fever patient (non-haemorhagic dengue fever and class one dengue haemorrhagic fever) showed that the intake of 30 millilitre (ml) or two large spoonfuls of matured papaya leaf juice daily for three days raised the platelet count.

“The hike in platelet is only one of numerous processes taking place in a patient suffering from dengue fever.

“Studies are still being conducted on the use of papaya leaf juice for dengue fever. The ministry also does not provide papaya leaf juice in government hospitals,” he said in a statement, here.

Dr Noor Hisham said this when commenting on a statement by certain parties that papaya leaves contained dangerous chemicals, namely, syanogenic glycoside which could cause liver, kidney and heart failure, and subsequently death.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, the papaya leaf is grouped under weak cyanogenesis, namely, producing a small quantity of hydrogen cyanide (there are 0.02 milligrammes (mg) of cyanide in four papaya leaves and the amount goes down as leaves increase in maturity).

He said the lowest cyanide dosage to endanger humans was one mg per kilogramme (kg) of body weight.

As such, he said, a person weighing 60kg required 12,000 papaya leaves at one time to induce poisoning.

“IMR has conducted a safety study by using the highest dosage of 2,000mg for every kilo of body weight in laboratory animals.

“In the study, three intake methods were used, namely, only one dose, a dose daily for 28 days and one dose daily for 90 days. The result – no side effects to the kidney, liver and heart.

“The result of the blood test was normal while a specific study (hepatotoxicity study) on the liver was also normal,” he said.

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