Health experts have warned that popular “natural” weight loss supplements could actually be laced with deadly toxins.
It comes after a toddler was poisoned after getting into a bottle of diet pills.
The tablets purchased by the nearly 2-year-old child’s mother were labeled “Mexican tejocote root,” a plant also known as hawthorn that is marketed for weight loss, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. report said.
The supplements are easily available online as a natural detoxification and fat loss aid.
While Ars Technica suggests that there is not much evidence to support the claim that hawthorn can help you lose weight, although it is generally considered safe to consume.
But the little one, who lives in New Jersey, began suffering nausea and vomiting shortly after taking the pills in September 2022 and was taken to the emergency room.
Medics found the child had a low heart rate, falling blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and other symptoms.
This led to the belief that the “harmless” diet pills actually did not contain hawthorn.
Unsure of what was going on, they contacted the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES), which helped determine that the supplements were made entirely of poisonous yellow oleander.
Accordingly Plantura magazineOleander is “highly poisonous” and all parts of the plant contain substances that are toxic to humans.
And while the plant toxins are used in small quantities for certain medications, treatment with them “may only be carried out with approved finished drugs from the pharmacy and under medical supervision,” emphasized the source.
Oleander poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, as well as cold hands and feet due to worsening blood circulation.
In high doses, the poisonous plant can cause cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac and respiratory paralysis, which can lead to coma and even death.
Although the dead man in question recovered, the NJPIES continued to investigate the case, the CDC report said.
Fearing that the problem might be more widespread, the company ordered ten products called Tejocote in December 2022, which were marketed as weight loss supplements.
Researchers at Flora Research Laboratories, which specialize in analyzing chemical components in dietary supplements, compared the pills with authenticated Tejocote root.
They found that nine of the ten products labeled as Tejocote were actually poisonous yellow oleander and had no evidence of Tejocote roots.
“These readily available dietary supplements appeared to be mislabeled when tested,” the CDC wrote.
“Instead, they contained a toxic substance that raised concerns for both doctors and public health officials.”
The product taken by the toddler was sold as Mexican Tejocote Root by Eva Nutrition.
Other products containing yellow oleander included those sold as Alipotec Tejocote Root Pieces, Elv Alipotec Mexican Tejocote Root Pieces, Niwali Tejocote Mexican Root Pieces, Science Alpha Mexican Tejocote Root Pieces and Tejocotex Tejocote Root Pieces , the report says.
This comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a similar warning regarding the presence of toxic yellow oleander in certain labeled herbal weight loss products Nuez de la India.
A person in Maryland was hospitalized after eating the so-called “slimming seeds.”
The poisonous plant is increasingly found in “harmless” natural diet pills Bloomberg says people are looking for alternatives to weight loss drugs like Wegovy.