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FDA Warns: Diet Products Contain Dangerous Drugs

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Obesity is a growing problem in this county. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37.5 percent of adults and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese in this country. Obesity related conditions include heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Along with the rise in obesity comes a rise in diet products promoting weight loss for the obese. There are those over-the-counter products that claim to contain natural ingredients that will safely assist you in losing weight. However, according to the FDA, not all of these products are safe, and, in fact, can be quite dangerous to your health.

The FDA issued warnings on several weight loss products, all claiming to be natural. One product “Fat Zero” claims to be all natural, containing bee pollen, green tea and lotus seed. “Fat Zero” claims on its website it “will give your body the jump start it needs to lose those unwanted pounds.”

According to the FDA, however, this product also contains sibutramine, which is a prescription drug so dangerous it was pulled off the U.S. market. “Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons … the product poses a threat because it is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some users and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke.”

The FDA also issued warnings on “Fruit & Plant Slimming” and “Extreme Body Slim” as these products both contain sibutramine, as well.

Another product, “Royal Dragon Herbal Tonic Balls” is sold for sexual enhancement and has also been issued a warning by the FDA for containing vardenafil. “This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels,” the FDA cautions.

Unfortunately, diet supplements and herbal products are not regulated by the FDA, and as long as the manufacturers do not make specific health claims, these products can be sold as containing ingredients that are “generally recognized as safe.”

The FDA tests diet supplements and herbal products and if prescription drugs or other dangerous ingredients are found, they will warn the public about the dangers associated with the products.

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