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Diet Pill Alerts

      As in any other industry, when there is money to be made, products will hit the market that many consider unsafe or unproven. Below are some products that either the FDA or other consumer watch groups have identified as potentially harmful.

Products Of Concern

1) Aristolochic Acid

      Aristolochic Acid is often found in botanical products that are included ingredients in several dietary supplements and 'herbal' remedies. The FDA states that: "Consumption of products containing aristolochic acid has been associated with permanent kidney damage, sometimes resulting in kidney failure that has required kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation....some patients have developed certain types of cancers, most often occurring in the urinary tract." Consumers should avoid using any products that list as an ingredient aristolochic acid, "Aristolochia", "Brogantia" or "Asarum".

2) Ephedra

      Ephedra, also called Ma-huang, is an ingredient in many herbal products marketed as weight loss aids. Ephedrine is the synthetic form of the ephedra plant and is chemically similar to methamphetamine, otherwise known as "speed". The potential health concerns about ephedra have been discussed since the early 1990s. The FDA has advised all consumers to avoid any products containing ephedra or ephedrine.

3) Herbal weight loss tea ("Dieter's Tea")

      Dieter's teas are often marketed as weight loss products, as well as "natural laxatives". The FDA advises all consumers that products containing laxative properties should not be used for weight loss. They are not only ineffective for weight loss, but can also result in bowel dependency on the laxative properties. Other laxative properties common to weight loss products that should be avoided include senna and aloe.

4) Tiratricol

Tiratricol, also know as triiodothyroacetic acid or TRIAC, is a strong thyroid hormone that has been linked to stroke and heart attack. The FDA has forced the recall of all products marketed as weight loss aids or dietary supplements that contain Tiratricol.

Visit the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research for information about all drugs, including diet pills. Consult the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Warnings and Safety Information pages to learn about recent diet pills alerts, diet supplements alerts and other diet product warnings.

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