Liver Injury Linked To Body Building, Weight Loss Supplements

Liver Injury Linked To Body Building, Weight Loss SupplementsLiver injury has been liked to body building and weight loss supplements, according to an emerging study.

As a matter-of-fact, it is because of medication-induced liver injury that most drugs are removed from the market, CBS Health Day News, pointed out. Dietary and herbal supplements do not require a prescription and can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) or online and are used by about 40% of the United States population, noted CBS.

The study, funded by the U.S. Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network, reviewed 109 patient cases of apparent liver injury associated with dietary supplements, said CBS Health Day News. Most of the patients studied were male, Caucasian, and overweight. The study revealed that body building and weight loss supplements were likeliest to lead to liver injury. Study results will be presented today at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in San Diego, California.

“There is so little regulation of the many products on the market,” said study leader Dr. Victor Navarro, professor of medicine, pharmacology and experimental therapies at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “We couldn’t possibly begin to figure out which products to target first without doing this research,” he added, said CBS Health Day News. According to Navarro, these findings could lead to increased regulation.

The study does not prove supplements directly cause liver damage but, say the investigators, the association does call for more research.

Meanwhile, we recently wrote that a new report detailed liver injury in SlimQuick users. SlimQuick is a green tea extract-based weight-loss formula that is, according to its web site, “designed specifically for a woman’s body. The SlimQuick web site also touts that its product is “scientifically formulated to overcome six physiological barriers that women face when losing weight.”

According to the World Journal of Hepatology, green tea (Camellia sinensis)-related hepatotoxicity (chemical-driven liver poisoning) was reported in connection with consumption of SlimQuick.

Researchers from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, the Department of Pathology, and the Division of Transplantation Surgery, Department of Surgery, of the University of Maryland School, authored the case study.

SlimQuick’s major ingredient is green tea extract—the Camellia sinensis leaf—which contains 135 mg of EGCG. EGCG has prooxidant effects that can lead to liver toxicity when taken in high doses, said the World Journal of Hepatology.

In the United States, in 1994—when the regulatory structure for dietary supplements was put into law—industry manufactured and marketed 4,000 individual products; today, some 55,000 products are sold to Americans who believe them to be safe.

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