A San Diego woman is among the dozens of people who suffered liver failure after taking the popular dietary supplement OxyElite Pro.
On Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency issued a warning, which comes after more than 50 people reported acute hepatitis and liver failure after taking the supplement, NBCNews San Diego reports. Dietary supplements like OxyElite Pro are popular for weight loss and body building.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating OxyElite Pro products after a group of cases was noticed since spring across the state of Hawaii. The people seeking treatment for non-viral hepatitis were younger and generally healthy and many illnesses had in common the use of the dietary supplement. Cases are now being reported outside Hawaii. This week Irish health authorities cited a liver failure case associated with OxyElite Pro and issued an alert.
“We don’t really know what component in the product is responsible for the liver failure,” explained Dr. Eric McDonald, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Deputy Public Health Officer.
OxyElite Pro has been voluntarily recalled by its maker, USPlabs, and the company has also halted online sales.
OxyElite Pro products reportedly contain aegeline, a new ingredient without a history of safety in the U.S. The FDA says that USPlabs failed to provide the evidence required by law that aegeline (N-[2-hydroxy-2(4-methoxyphenyl) ethyl]-3-phenyl-2-propenamide) is safe for use in dietary supplements.
Symptoms of hepatitis include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice, according to the FDA. The FDA advises consumers not to use any supplements labeled OxyElite Pro and to consult a doctor if they believe they have been harmed by a dietary supplement.