According to the Wall Street Journal, the FDA urged people to immediately stop taking Hydroxycut, the leading brand in natural weight loss supplements, amidst fears that the product could cause liver damage. The FDA received 23 reports indicating users suffered serious health effects including one 19-year-old male that died. The above is certainly sad but I don’t understand the FDA’s panic in removing Hydroxycut from the market. How many dangerous, largely ineffective drugs are there on the market today where the above “side effects” are not only considered normal but are largely accepted and occur much more frequently? The answer is whole heck of a lot! People die every year from taking aspirin, antibiotics, and other so-called “common” drugs. Yet these drugs are not pulled from the market. PBS’s Frontline in 2003 documented that pharmaceutical giant Wyeth is still settling lawsuits from its Fen-Phen weight loss drug debacle as the drug caused heart-valve failure. Industry experts claim the settlements thus far have totaled over $13 billion dollars.
I don’t know if Hydroxycut is a “safe” product. I’m not a scientist and I haven’t used it. But the fact that a mere 23 people suffered health effects from the millions that have purchased the product makes me question whether or not the product has any side effects at all. Were the people sick? Did they have any underlying health conditions? Would they have had such problems without using Hydroxycut? The fact that such a low number of people suffered adverse effects really makes me question the merit of the orders to stop taking the product.
The FDA is currently examining the product and I’m eagerly awaiting their report.