Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Products For Weight Loss Or Increased Energy Can Be Deadly, Warn Poison Control Experts

Date:
June 4, 1998
Source:
University Of California, San Francisco
Summary:
Consumers need to be extremely cautious about drinking or eating off-the-shelf products that promise weight loss, increased energy, or enhanced athletic performance, advise experts with the California Poison Control System (CPCS).

Consumers need to be extremely cautious about drinking or eating off-the-shelf products that promise weight loss, increased energy, or enhanced athletic performance, advise experts with the California Poison Control System (CPCS).

"In early April, the death of a woman in Southern California allegedly was linked to her use of a product containing several stimulants known to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Since news of that tragedy, we have received several calls about these types of products, which are often sold as 'dietary supplements' or 'metabolic enhancers'," said Christine Haller, MD, a consultant with CPCS and a fellow in medical toxicology at UC San Francisco and the SF Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"People should not assume that any dietary supplement is safe just because it is labeled 'natural' or 'herbal,'" she said. "Many contain active ingredients that can be dangerous to certain individuals because of their current health condition or because of medications they are taking. Any person considering using one of these products should consult a physician first."

Since January 1, CPCS has been monitoring its calls about adverse reactions associated with dietary supplements as part of a nationwide multi-center trial. Haller is collaborating on the study with Kent Olson, MD, a CPCS medical toxicologist and UCSF professor of pharmacy, medicine, and pediatrics. Many of these products are marked "thermogenic" and marketed with claims of being able to alter one's metabolism, according to Haller. Product ingredients often include ma huang, a Chinese herbal product that contains the drug ephedrine, and guarana, a plant seed that contains caffeine.

"The combination of ephedrine and caffeine is known to cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as nervousness, insomnia, nausea, and vomiting," said Haller. "Adverse effects related to products that contain ephedrine have included stroke, heart attack, seizures, and even death." Olson emphasized that consumers need to be aware that dietary supplement products are considered neither food nor drugs from a legal standpoint. "Therefore, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are solely responsible for product quality, and toxicity may be related to product impurities, contaminants, or high levels of active ingredients," he said.

CPCS is under the administration of the UCSF School of Pharmacy and serves all 33 million California residents.

The CPCS toll-free hotline service has four sites across the state: Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, UC San Diego Medical Center, and the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital.

The statewide number to call in the event of a poison emergency is 1-800-876-4766 (1-800-8-POISON).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, San Francisco. "Products For Weight Loss Or Increased Energy Can Be Deadly, Warn Poison Control Experts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980604071236.htm>.
University Of California, San Francisco. (1998, June 4). Products For Weight Loss Or Increased Energy Can Be Deadly, Warn Poison Control Experts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980604071236.htm
University Of California, San Francisco. "Products For Weight Loss Or Increased Energy Can Be Deadly, Warn Poison Control Experts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980604071236.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins