Health concerns rise with high mitragynine kratom drinks

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Public health officials issued a stern warning regarding the rising trend of kratom-infused drinks, highlighting that these beverages may contain dangerously high levels of mitragynine, a compound found in the kratom plant.

The Department of Medical Sciences, after conducting safety tests across various regions in March, revealed that all 52 samples of kratom-mixed beverages contained mitragynine levels ranging from 22 to 352.6 milligrammes per litre, averaging out to 109.5 milligrammes per litre.

This figure significantly overshadows the Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily consumption limit of 0.2 milligrammes.

Health Department Chief Yongyot Thammawut explained that mitragynine is a new indole-based alkaloid typically found in kratom plants. Known for stimulating the nervous system, reducing pain, boosting energy, and possessing anti-inflammatory properties, mitragynine is often touted as a stress reducer. However, experts caution that consumption of kratom can lead to intoxication and addiction if taken in large volumes over an extended period. There is also a risk of overdosing on kratom, a potential health hazard.

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Yongyot urged the public to exercise caution when combining kratom with other substances, noting the lack of comprehensive studies on its toxicity. Despite kratom’s removal from the list of narcotics in 2021, which allows for its cultivation for therapeutic use, it remains prohibited to mix it with other substances that alter the brain’s functioning, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin urged the local authorities to monitor the Covid-19 situation following a surge in cases during the Songkran festival.

The public, especially those displaying cold-like symptoms, are urged to wear face masks in public, regularly wash their hands and undertake an ATK test. Furthermore, individuals who have tested positive for the virus are advised to limit their contact with people from the 608 at-risk group.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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