There has been a recent rash of liver related problems and deaths in Yunnan province this past year, more so than usual. There have been a lot of theories as to why Chinese citizens are being diagnosed with Acute Liver Failure (ALF), but one potential cause seems to be the most prevalent.

Bad mushrooms.

The Chinese in Yunnan province, and in the western part of China, tend to not farm mushrooms, but go out into the wild and pick them. The consequences of these actions can be fatal.

Keep in mind, that about fifteen years ago, a group of well accomplished mushroom aficionados and specialists, some of them university professors, went scavenging for wild mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest of the US. As I remember, seven of them got very ill (ALF), one or two died, a few required liver transplantation. The moral of the story is, even the best minds make mistakes with these things. The wrong mushroom can be deadly.

A discussion about hepatotoxins and acute liver failure is in order.