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Friday, November 19, 2010

Hydroxycut: It Works So Good, People Are Dying To Get It

Hydroxycut is a very popular dietary/body building supplement produced by Iovate Health Sciences, Inc. of Ontario, Canada and distributed in the USA by Iovate Health Sciences, Inc out of Blasdell, New York. The supplement contains a variety of natural ingredients and herbal extracts and the formula has apparently been changed several times, so it is difficult to tell which one is toxic and to blame for causing the reported health problems.

The culprit may be an ingredient called hydroxycitric acid. It is derived from a tropical fruit and it has been linked to liver problems in at least one medical journal study. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent out a press release warning consumers to stop using Hydroxycut due to 23 reported cases of liver damage, including 1 death.

Among the serious health problems reportedly connected to Hydroxycut were jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, liver damage requiring a liver transplant, seizures, cardiovascular disorders, and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to kidney failure. The FDA reports that 9 million packages have been sold since last year. Due to the serious side effects that have been reported, the makers of Hydroxycut issued a recall for 14 of its products.

The products recalled were: Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets, Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets, Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets, Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets, Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets, Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets, Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix), Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets, Hydroxycut Liquid Shots, Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink), Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed, Hydroxycut 24, Hydroxycut Carb Control and Hydroxycut Natural.

The FDA urges consumers to consult a physician if they experience any symptoms associated with the use of any of these products. Symptoms of liver damage include jaundice, brown urine, nausea, vomiting, light colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching or loss of appetite.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 requires manufacturers to make sure that a dietary supplement is safe before marketing it. But they are still not required to register a product with the FDA or get their approval before selling it.

The FDA can only take action once a supplement is on the market and has been determined to be potentially dangerous. The FDA relies on voluntary reports to detect problems with dietary supplements, but in many cases problems are never reported. In this case, the death that resulted from Hydroxycut use was a 19 year old male that died in 2007, but was not reported to the FDA until March of 2009.

Since December 2007, any negative or serious health related event that gets reported to the manufacturer must now be reported to the FDA within 15 days. Many are seeking compensation through lawsuits.

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