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Kava kava. Death cases

aviavieu

Kava Enthusiast
Is there any case for Kava? Is Kava a plant like Marijuana after which nobody died. Out of curiosity, what is Kava fatal dose? ? Do not worry about these doses, Kava is expensive and drinks small amounts.
 

verticity

I'm interested in things
It's actually possible to give a rough answer to this question: what is the fatal dose of kava? Short answer: You would have to eat about 1 kilogram of dried kava powder for it to maybe be fatal, which is probably impossible to do. It's nothing to worry about for all practical purposes. Read on to see where that figure comes from:

First, no human has ever died from an acute overdose of kava that I'm aware of. But that does not mean kava is completely non toxic in massive doses of concentrated extract, and some mice have died that way at the hands of scientists studying this question. Here is a table from a paper by Dr. Schmidt showing what amount of various kavalactones it takes to kill a mouse or rat:

ld50.png

Ref: Schmidt, Mathias. "Are kavalactones the hepatotoxic principle of kava extracts? The pitfalls of the glutathione theory." The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 9.2 (2003): 183-187.

The "LD50" numbers are the amount of substance per kilogram of body weight that will on average kill half the experimental animals. "p.o." means by mouth, and "i.p." or "i.v." means injected. So the oral LD50 is something like 1g/kg of kavalactones. The numbers might be different for humans than rodents, be we are enough alike that they are probably in the ballpark. So what does that mean in practical terms for us kava drinkers?

An average person weighs 75 kg. The lethal dose for them would be about 75 grams of kavalactones. Kava is about 10% KLs by weight, so that average person would need to consume 750 grams, or lets just round up and say about a kilogram of kava powder to reach a lethal dose. And as @tutti196 rightly notes above the most likely outcome for anyone who tried that would be to just barf it up and remain alive (although they might well feel as if they had died).

See also this quote which I copied from an older thread and has some of the same data as above, from Kava: From Ethnology to Pharmacology (edited by Yadhu N. Singh)



(From this thread: http://kavaforums.com/forum/threads...valactone-intoxication.4458/page-2#post-53793
The context of that thread was we were were discussing an alleged case where someone had died from injecting himself with kava extract. TL/DR we were extremely skeptical that the person's demise was caused by kava.)
 
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ThePiper

Kava Lover
That's totally not a bad finding and shows extreme safety but That's honestly surprising to me. I Wouldve thought it would take more than that to kill a rat considering how cannabis and kratom have been found to require relatively higher doses to be deadly than this, if at all. I don't think the studies even found any case of death.
 

verticity

I'm interested in things
That's totally not a bad finding and shows extreme safety but That's honestly surprising to me. I Wouldve thought it would take more than that to kill a rat considering how cannabis and kratom have been found to require relatively higher doses to be deadly than this, if at all. I don't think the studies even found any case of death.
The focus of this forum is kava, but since the topic has been broached I'd like to go into a little detail here to make it clear that kava is not any more toxic than those other things. If you search the literature for lethal doses of their active ingredients you'll actually find a very similar story: numbers that are large enough to be of no practical importance, but not inifinite. In terms of acute toxicity, all three are essentially non-toxic for practical purposes, but it is possible to kill rats and mice with high enough doses of concentrate.

For instance:
  • mitragynine: LD50 = 477 mg/kg (Ref: Sabetghadam, et al. "Dose–Response Relationship, Acute Toxicity, and Therapeutic Index between the Alkaloid Extract of Mitragyna speciosa and Its Main Active Compound Mitragynine in Mice." Drug Development Research 74.1 (2013): 23-30.)
  • delta9-thc: LD50 = approx 1000 mg/kg orally or 40 mg/kg i.v. or inhaled. (Ref: Rosenkrantz, Harris, et al. "Inhalation, parenteral and oral LD50 values of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Fischer rats." Toxicology and applied pharmacology 28.1 (1974): 18-27.)

It also might be a good time to remember that even water has a lethal dose (which has been estimated at about 1.6 gallons drunk all at once, see: http://symptomsdiagnosisbook.com/water-intoxication/ )
 

mlenny

Kava Curious
I'm not trying to be that person or start an argument, but that's a severe oversimplification. The lethal dose of a substance per kg of body weight in a human and an animal almost never coincide. Usually something like a mouse can handle a spectacularly higher dose than a human. The two cannot be compared so easily.

And no, I am not by any means trying to argue that kava is unsafe or has any well-established lethality in overdose. Idiosyncratic immunoallergic hepatitis, however, is a valid concern.
 
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Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
Idiosyncratic hypersensitivity reactions against the liver, however, are a valid concern.
I keep my eye out for this very thing on a daily basis. Anyone who just started consuming kava and are having bad reactions such as hives, and skin discoloration should stop immediately. The risk is low, like microscopically low, but it exists. If you're worried you might be one of these people, and you've been drinking kava for a while, relax, from what's been seen it will only do this at the beginning of consumption. @Henry has a good understanding of this if he wishes to chime in.
 

verticity

I'm interested in things
I'm not trying to be that person or start an argument, but that's a severe oversimplification. The lethal dose of a substance per kg of body weight in a human and an animal almost never coincide. Usually something like a mouse can handle a spectacularly higher dose than a human. The two cannot be compared so easily.
..
Good point that mice and humans is an apples to oranges comparison. Often the only information of this kind that we have is for rodents, since figuring out the accurate numbers for humans would involve some extremely unethical experiments to put it mildly. The best we can do to get an approximation is scale by body weight. So you are quite right that species can differ greatly for different substances, but which direction the difference will go is impossible to say. For instance if I ate a kilogram of dark chocolate, I might not feel great but I would probably be fine eventually. On the other hand a dog weighing the same as me would experience a "severe emergency" (according to the Dog Chocolate Toxicity Calcualtor: https://www.vets-now.com/dog-chocolate-toxicity-calculator/ )
 

DaManTheyCallB

Kava Curious
In the 90's I knew people in Vanuatu that drank strong kava every single night from 6pm till midnight (me being one of them..), for years on end. They had crocodile skin and were unhealthy from being permanently dehydrated and eating a poor diet, but are all still alive and enjoying kava.
What would you recommend to stay healthy and hydrated? Have any ideas on things to eat to keep those calories up? I am dependent on Kratom and do 60+ grams of kava a night . I knew better but these last couple years have been pretty rough mentally and have dropped about 30 PDs not being hungry and not wanting to eat because I wanted to feel those two things and now highly regretting it. I need to get my weight up a bit and not look so dried out. My skin hasn't darkened it's became rather light and look and feel way unhealthy but I'll don't believe that's due to kava and more about Kratom which Im highly regretting now. Appreciate any help
 

kavakarma

Kava Enthusiast
According to the book, Kava, an Ethnobotanical Review of a Treasured Plant, there are five deaths associated with kava extract, extract meaning the Kava may or may not be noble and is extracted using acetone, alcohol, or chloroform. Also, extracts may pull alkaloids out of the root. In four of the five cases, other drugs such as mood drugs and blood pressure drugs were also being used at the time of death. The fatality point was either liver failure or heart failure in all cases, suggesting an underlying liver or heart condition, dangerous combination of substances, or impure kava extract, as the book notes there are not any known cases of death from Kava in traditional preparation.
 

nabanga

Kava Enthusiast
What would you recommend to stay healthy and hydrated? Have any ideas on things to eat to keep those calories up? I am dependent on Kratom and do 60+ grams of kava a night . I knew better but these last couple years have been pretty rough mentally and have dropped about 30 PDs not being hungry and not wanting to eat because I wanted to feel those two things and now highly regretting it. I need to get my weight up a bit and not look so dried out. My skin hasn't darkened it's became rather light and look and feel way unhealthy but I'll don't believe that's due to kava and more about Kratom which Im highly regretting now. Appreciate any help
I'm certainly no nutrition expert, but I make a point of drinking a glass of water every hour through the day (more or less) whether I am thirsty or not, with oral rehydration salts added occasionally. Coconut water is great, now it is in cartons all over the world. Similar to you my diet isn't the best, tending to have a big breakfast, good lunch and not much after that so I can have a good kava session in the early evening, but I do try to eat unprocessed food and feel better for it. Snack on bananas or dried fruit & nuts rather than cheetos and fried shit out of a plastic bag - it all helps.
 

Skinskava

70-80 g to 1 Liter-Day Dreamer- My Roots Run Deep-
In the 90's I knew people in Vanuatu that drank strong kava every single night from 6pm till midnight (me being one of them..), for years on end. They had crocodile skin and were unhealthy from being permanently dehydrated and eating a poor diet, but are all still alive and enjoying kava.
do you think kava leads to poorer absorption of nutrients ? Thats my theory as well as muscle loss
 

nabanga

Kava Enthusiast
do you think kava leads to poorer absorption of nutrients ? Thats my theory as well as muscle loss
I really don't know - without proper clinical studies it would be hard to know if poor nutrition and muscle loss in heavy kava drinkers is due to poor absorption of nutrients, or just having a poor diet due to lower appetite, and muscle loss from not using them - sitting around all day waiting for "taem bl'em"...
 

Henry

.
Moderator
Kava itself is quite nutritious actually. I've tested quite a few samples. The high fibre content is also probably good for gut health (which is good for nutrient absorption)

A lot of people in NZ blame kava for obesity, poor health etc, among certain people who consume it regularly. But it's pretty obvious these conditions are not caused by the kava itself, but by the "lollies" (sweets) and other junk food consumed in large quantities in South Auckland kava clubs/kalapus. Plus large amounts of super sugary drinks (including energy drinks!).
 

Skinskava

70-80 g to 1 Liter-Day Dreamer- My Roots Run Deep-
Kava itself is quite nutritious actually. I've tested quite a few samples. The high fibre content is also probably good for gut health (which is good for nutrient absorption)

A lot of people in NZ blame kava for obesity, poor health etc, among certain people who consume it regularly. But it's pretty obvious these conditions are not caused by the kava itself, but by the "lollies" (sweets) and other junk food consumed in large quantities in South Auckland kava clubs/kalapus. Plus large amounts of super sugary drinks (including energy drinks!).
Very interesting points. I will say certain foods after kava just feel gross. Funny enough these tend to be processed or sugary foods. Its as if the natural medicinal properties of kava don’t synergize with some foods while, others increase the effect for me.
 
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