Dangers & Side Effects of Hydroxycut

Hydroxycut products, a popular series of weight loss supplements, were voluntarily recalled from the market by the manufacturer in response to a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA received 23 injuries reported by Hydroxycut users. The Hydroxycut products recalled were marketed for weight loss, fat burning and energy enhancement. Other products were promoted as low-carb diet aids and for promotion of water loss. Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia were not part of the recall.

A young woman is ingesting a red supplement pill. (Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc../Blend Images/Getty Images)

Liver Damage

According to the FDA, people taking Hydroxycut at its recommended doses run the risk of liver injury. Signs of liver injury include jaundice and elevated liver enzymes. Jaundice is recognizable through yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes and brown urine. Elevated liver enzymes are an indicator of potential liver injury.

Other symptoms of liver injury include unexplained itching, fatigue and weakness. Digestive symptoms of liver injury include loss of appetite and stomach and abdominal issues (such as pain, nausea, vomiting and light-colored stools).

The FDA received reports of liver damage so severe that the patients required liver transplants.

Some liver patients recovered when they stopped taking Hydroxycut. One death was reported due to liver failure. The FDA hasn’t determined which ingredients or dosages are associated with the risk of liver injury.


Another health problem reported to the FDA by people taking Hydroxycut was seizures, which occur when there is sudden and abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures fall into two main groups: focal or partial seizures that occur in one part of the brain, and generalized seizures that are a result of abnormal activity on both sides of the brain.

Cardiovascular Problems

Cardiovascular problems were also reported to the FDA by people taking Hydroxycut, ranging from irregular heartbeats to heart attacks. Irregular heartbeats are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart, which can cause the heart to beat too fast or too slow. Heart attacks lead to an interruption of blood supply to the heart, causing some heart cells to die.


Rhabdomyolysis was another health problem reported to the FDA. Rhabdomyolysis is a type of muscle damage where myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. Myoglobin can cause other serious problems, such as kidney damage.

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