The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has received 23 reports of serious liver injuries related to peoples’ use of Hydroxycut products. Hydroxycut products are widely used dietary supplements for weight loss. The products are also used as "energy enhancers" and "fat burners".
The liver damage reports obtained by the FDA include problems ranging from jaundice to an injury so severe it required a liver transplant. There are also reports of seizures, cardiovascular disorders, and rhabdomy olysis (which can lead to kidney failure).
The recalled products include Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets, Hydroxycut Carb Control and Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets. For more information on this recall, see the FDA website at www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2009/NEW02006.html
The products are manufactured by lovate Health Sciences in Ontario, Canada. The company is pulling 14 products, although the FDA says that not all of the products have been shown to be dangerous.
The products recalled contain a number of different ingredients, including herbal extracts. Dietary supplements do not require the same level of scrutiny before being sold to the public that pharmaceutical drugs require in the U.S.. Many consumer advocates have argued for years that there needs to be better governmental oversight of these industries. It seems that this latest incident is further evidence of the latter.
The FDA states that any people who have taken the recalled products should immediately see a physician if they have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach pain, itching, or loss of appetite, all of which may be indicators of a liver injury.