One of the most potentially dangerous category of supplements to take, at least in the U.S., is the category of weight loss supplements. Now there’s news that an over-the-counter diet pill and tea that were banned from the market nearly two years ago because of contamination with dangerous chemicals remain widely available.The Boston Globe reports that the supplements are “popular among Brazilian women seeking to shed pounds, according to a new study by Harvard Medical School researchers.”
HealthDay reports that according to the study, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, some women are still using the weight-loss supplement from China called Pai You Guo, which the Food and Drug Administration recalled in 2009 “due to dangerous ingredients.”
The substance “contains the pharmaceuticals sibutramine and phenolphthalein, both of which are banned in the United States because they increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer.”
After surveying some 550 Brazilian women in the greater Boston area, researchers found that about a fourth of them were actively using or had tried the supplement. In addition, the study authors “found that women who used the tainted supplement were three times more likely to purchase it in local stores than over the Internet.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about fraudulent weight-loss supplements here.