Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Proof that Magic Diet Pills Don't Exist

And another one bites the dust! Say farewell to Hydroxy Cut, a very popular and widely consumed thermogenic fat burner and energy enhancing weight loss supplement.

In the US, the FDA has declared that there are some serious health risks associated with taking Hydroxy Cut such as serious cases of jaundice, elevated liver enzymes and liver damage requiring transplant. In light of this, Health Canada has released a statement and is reviewing the safety of Hydroxy Cut products in Canada. As a natural health product (NHP), Hydroxy Cut was sold over the counter and did not require a prescription to be purchased, so anyone could buy it.

In Canada, as an NHP, Hydroxy Cut is governed by the Natural Health Products Regulations, which attempt to increase the safety of natural health products for consumers, and attempt to ensure that they are used correctly. Labels must be clear and understandable when it comes to information on treatment, dosage and health warnings, as well as pre-market review and assessment in order to reasonably ensure that natural health products that are safe, effective, and of the highest quality. At first pass, I automatically assumed that the individuals with the reported cases of liver injury were taking crazy high doses of this stuff, but in actuality, they took the amount as stated on the label!

NHP's undergo a mandatory pre-market review to ensure that what is on the label is what is actually in the bottle, and that health claims are supported by appropriate levels of evidence. Natural health products can also make a full range of health claims, which are not allowed in the case of food and drugs, including claims about risk reduction, structure-function and treatment-prevention if there is enough evidence to back these claims.

I'm not sure as to exactly how or why Hydroxy Cut was able to fall through the cracks when it comes to safety, but I suppose it happens every now and then. Realistically, if anyone is going to put anything in their body, they should do adequate research to make sure that it's relatively safe for them to take and understand what exactly the effects of the product on the body are; any effects of diet pills are seen only in combination with diet and exercise. If a label has a long list of fine-printed ingredients, be weary! Read labels closely and critically - always keeping in mind that magic diet pills don't exist!