The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers to stop using the popular Hydroxycut line of weight-loss products, citing reports of a death due to liver failure and other instances of serious health problems. The FDA has received 23 reports of significant adverse health effects in people who used Hydroxycut, including one person who required a liver transplant. Other complications included heart problems and a kind of muscle damage that could lead to kidney failure, according to the regulatory agency.

The Hydroxycut brand, which has been widely sold at national chain stores including GNC and the Vitamin Shoppe, includes pills, drinks and powders marketed to increase energy, burn calories and fat, and control appetite. The FDA says the maker reported selling more than 9 million units of the brand last year. Lovate Health Sciences of Oakville, Ontario, the maker, and its American distributor, are recalling 14 of the products. Two other products, Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia, with different ingredients, are not affected by the recall.

According to the FDA, the new law requiring manufacturers to notify the agency of any reports of serious health problems helped officials identify a pattern of adverse events linked to Hydroxycut users. In addition, the agency cited reports in medical journals of serious liver disease being diagnosed in six people who had taken Hydroxycut. The consumers were healthy before using Hydroxycut and took the recommended dose. Because the formula for Hydroxycut has changed over time and because the product contains different amounts of a proprietary blend of ingredients, the FHA hasn’t determined which of the product’s ingredients might constitute a health hazard.

A lawsuit filed in November of 2008 on behalf of the parents of Dennis Lopez in Texas, will be the first Hydroxycut case scheduled to go to trial. The child began taking MuscleTech Hydroxycut Hardcore in November 2006. He died of severe liver failure on February 12, 2007. The autopsy report shows that the causative factor in his death was the dietary supplement. A class action is being sought in the case, which would be the first in the United States against the manufacturer of Hydroxycut. If you need additional information on this subject, contact Roger Smith at 800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com.

Source: New York Times

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