There have been nine reports of serious adverse reactions associated with the use of the controversial supplement EMPowerplus, Health Canada said Thursday.

The maker of the mixture of vitamins and minerals, Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd., says the "alternative mental health treatment" offers hope to people who suffer from bipolar disorder (manic depression), anxiety disorder (panic attacks) and other mental illnesses.

But Health Canada has warned about usingEMPowerplus in the past, and even launched an unsuccessful court case to try and stop the distribution of the supplement.

On Thursday, Health Canada said theadverse reactions "relate to worsening of psychiatric symptoms in those patients with serious underlying mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder and depression."

The problem may have arisen because users stopped taking prescriptiondrugs or tookEMPowerplus withprescribed drugs.

Health Canada saidconsumers with the conditions could face "a potential risk to health associated with the use of the product EMPowerplus."

It advised them to stop using it.

It also said it was concerned about "unauthorized health claims, and medical advice being provided by non-medically qualified staff."

Truehope's website says there have been independent studies which "empirically validate the successes we have had in reducing/eliminating the symptoms of bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses in thousands of individuals."