Technology & Science

Reactions to Hydroxycut found in Canada as U.S. recalls pills

Adverse reactions have been reported in Canada from people taking the popular diet supplement Hydroxycut, which U.S. officials urged consumers to stop using on Friday.

1 death, reports of liver damage linked to the supplements, FDA says.

Adverse reactions have been reported in Canada from people taking the popular diet supplement Hydroxycut, which U.S. officials urged consumers to stop using on Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the manufacturer has agreed to recall 14 Hydroxycut products amid reports of liver damage, including the death of a 19-year-old in 2007 that was linked to the supplement and reported to the FDA in March.

No Hydroxycut products are currently authorized for sale in Canada, although the products are available.

Health Canada has received 17 domestic adverse reaction reports associated with Hydroxycut products in Canada, a spokesperson said in an email to CBC News.

These included reports of cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems. None were related to liver injury.

These recalled products are available in grocery stores and pharmacies in the U.S. and online:

  •  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
  •  Hydroxycut Natural

The products are marketed for weight loss, boosting energy and other uses.

"While this is a small number of reports relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products over the years, out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is our top priority, we are voluntarily recalling these Hydroxycut-branded products," Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ont., said in a statement on its website. 

Stop using products

Since cases of liver damage are rare, it has taken until now to determine the scope of the problem, said Dr. Linda Katz of the FDA's food and nutrition division.

The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice to elevated liver enzymes that can indicate potential liver injury, to rare cases of liver damage requiring liver transplant.

Other health problems reported included seizures, cardiovascular disorders, and rhabdomyolysis — a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.

The FDA advised consumers who are using any of the recalled products to stop using them and return them to the place of purchase.

Health officials in Canada and the U.S. are investigating product formulas, ingredients, dosages or other causes that may be potentially toxic. The formulation has changed several times.

Health Canada said its reviewing the situation in Canada and has been in contact with the FDA. The department said it will provide Canadians with any new safety information when its review is complete.

Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia products are not affected by the U.S. recall.

The products are manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ont.

With files from The Associated Press

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