Navigation Links
Weight-Loss Aids Bought on Internet Might Harm Your Heart
Date:5/15/2008

Pills, supplements have potentially dangerous ingredients, lack warning labels, study finds

THURSDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-loss supplements widely available for purchase online often include ingredients that are potentially hazardous to your heart, and a new study shows the labels often don't include this warning.

One of the hazardous ingredients that was found in the products has been banned on the U.S. market since 2004, according to study author Dr. Alireza Nazeri, an internist and cardiology research fellow at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, in Houston.

The study was expected to be presented Thursday at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting, in San Francisco.

Nazeri and his colleagues reviewed the ingredients of 12 different brands of weight-loss supplements. They found the brands by entering the common search terms "diet pills" and "weight-loss supplements" into popular Internet search engines, including Google, MSN and Yahoo.

"We were trying to find out if the weight-loss supplements have any ingredients with life-threatening cardiac side effects," Nazeri said.

Next, they made a list of the ingredients on each label. In all, there were 60 different ingredients, for an average of 7.25 ingredients per bottle. Most were herbal extracts, while others were minerals, vitamins and other substances.

Next, the researchers scoured medical databases, including Medline, Pubmed and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, to find out if there was any significant association between the ingredients and cardiac problems.

They identified 11 ingredients with at least one report of life-threatening cardiac side effects. Eight of the 12 brands contained a potentially hazardous ingredient.

To their surprise, the researchers found one brand included ma huang, also known as Chinese ephedra, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it in 2004.

The other ingredients that may be potentially dangerous to the heart included: bitter orange, Camellia sinensis, green tea, buckwheat, guarana, Korean ginseng, licorice root, Synephrine HCl, caffeine anhydrous and citrus aurantium.

"We are not releasing any names of products," said Nazeri. "That was part of our protocol."

The products chosen may be just the tip of the iceberg, and releasing the names may give people the idea the problem is confined to just those brands, said study senior author Dr. Mehdi Razavi, director of the institute's clinical arrhythmia research lab and a clinical associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston.

The study results make sense to Elisa Odabashian, director of the West Coast office of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. "It doesn't surprise me at all," she said.

Especially dangerous, she said, is that people often combine these products with coffee or other caffeine-containing drinks, which affect the heart even more.

Odabashian worked on efforts to get ephedra-containing products banned in California. Her advice for consumers thinking of buying weight-loss products over the Internet? "I think it's a crapshoot. I don't think you should be doing it."

More information

To learn more about how to evaluate a weight-loss product, visit American Dietetic Association.



SOURCES: Alireza Nazeri, M.D., internist and cardiology research fellow, Texas Heart Institute, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston; Mehdi Razavi, M.D., clinical associate professor, medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and director, clinical arrhythmia laboratory, Texas Heart Institute, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston; Elisa Odabashian, director, West Coast office, Consumers Union, San Francisco; May 15, 2008, presentation, Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting, San Francisco


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Some Weight-Loss Drugs Might Disrupt Brain Growth in Kids
2. USA TODAY Weight-Loss Challenge Returns For 5th Year With Eight Weeks of Compelling Stories and Online Features
3. New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Early Study
4. NutriSystem Advances Weight-Loss Category
5. Studies Examine Life After Weight-Loss Surgery
6. Psychiatric Woes Can Postpone Weight-Loss Surgery
7. FTC Attacks Infomercial Marketer to Silence Best-Selling Authors Weight-Loss Tips
8. UMass Medical School study identifies the best weight-loss plans for heart health
9. Weight-Loss Surgeries Extend Lives
10. Store-bought freshwater fish contain elevated levels of mercury, arsenic and selenium
11. GreatTrainers.com Announces Low-Cost Television and Internet Exposure for Members
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Weight-Loss Aids Bought on Internet Might Harm Your Heart
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NORTHBROOK, Ill. and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the ... joins Astellas Farma Brasil as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... appointed General Manager of Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of 12 ... recognized for its support of Premier members through exceptional ... excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: