Hydroxycut is a brand-name nutritional supplement that is designed to boost energy and exercise performance as well as burn body fat and reduce overall body weight. Hydroxycut is the most popular ergogenic aid and weight loss supplement in the world, selling more than 1 million units per year. Many questions have been raised regarding the safety of Hydroxycut, resulting in a 2009 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall. Since then, the formula for Hydroxycut has been revised, but may still pose some risks to some individuals taking within the manufacturer recommended guidelines. Consult your physician before taking Hydroxycut, or any other weight loss product.
FDA Warning and Recall
In May of 2009, the FDA warned consumers to stop using all Hydroxycut-related products. The FDA cited an increased risk for developing potentially serious liver diseases resulting in Hydroxycut use, even when used as directed. In response, Hydroxycut's parent company, Iovate Health Sciences, agreed to issue a recall on all Hydroxycut products sold within the United States. The FDA reported 23 cases of liver failure in individuals who had taken Hydroxycut, as well as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, stomach pain, seizures, cardiovascular disorders, muscle damage, kidney failure and death.
In 2008, the World Journal of Gastroenterology published a report on the use of Hydroxycut and the prevalence of hepatotoxicity, which is a condition that involves chemical-driven liver damage caused by a destruction of the cellular components of the liver that are essential to its function. Your liver is essential in protecting your body from potentially harmful toxins, especially toxins found in food that have been absorbed by your intestines. Hydroxycut has been found to directly cause hepatoxicity in the liver, which may result in elevations of liver enzymes indicating liver damage, hepititis, cholestasis, vascular lesions and death.
New Hydroxycut Formula
Following the 2009 recall, Iovate Health Sciences revised the formula and released two new versions of Hydroxycut, called Hydroxycut Advanced and Hydroxycut Max. The new formulas are claimed to be safer and just as effective as the old formula, with more emphasis on their antioxidant qualities. Although all the FDA-banned ingredients have been left out of the new formulas, they still contain ingredients that may cause side effects.
Potential Side Effects
Since the two new formulas for Hydroxycut were released in July of 2009, there have been no new cases of liver damage or death associated with its use. However, some potentially serious side effects may still occur, even while adhering to the manufacturer-recommended guidelines. The most common side effects of the new Hydroxycut formulas are insomnia, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, increased heart rate, vomiting, anxiety, depression, irritability, chest pain and excessive sweating.
- "World Journal of Gastroenterology"; Hepatoxicity Associated With Weight-loss Supplements: A Case for Better Post-marketing Surveillance; Ano Lobb; 2009
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Warning on Hydroxycut Products; 2009
- Legal Tube; Reformulated Diet Aid Still New on the Market; 2009
- "Nutritional Supplements in Sports and Exercise"; Mike Greenwood, Douglas Kalman and Jose Antonio; 2010
- Pub Med Health; Hydroxycut Hepatotoxicity: A Case Series and Review of Liver Toxicity From Herbal Weight Loss Supplements; L. Dara et. al; 2008
- Medscape Reference; Clinical and Pathological Manifestations of Drug-Induced Liver Disease; 2010