After tens of millions of doses of Hydroxycut were taken by consumers, one person died. This, along with reports of a few dozen liver-related side effects, caused the FDA to push for an industry-wide recall of virtually all Hydroxycut products. The thinking behind the warning? The risk of side effects is very low, but the FDA doesn’t believe consumers should be exposed to such risks.
Not from a dietary supplement, anyway. When it’s from a vaccine or a pharmaceutical, such risks are deemed “acceptable” by the FDA. Remember the outcry over the COX-2 inhibitor drug Vioxx and the testimony by Dr. David Graham of the FDA who calculated the drug killed over 60,000 Americans? That drug was voted “safe” by an FDA panel even after its own manufacturer voluntarily recalled it from the market!
When it comes to pharmaceuticals, you see, killing 60,000 Americans is no big deal. But when a dietary supplement is linked to a single death, that’s more than enough for the FDA to spring into action with its spin machine to destroy the credibility of the dietary supplement in question.
The same thing happened with ephedra (ma huang), a perfectly safe Traditional Chinese Medicine that’s been safely used for over 5,000 years in China. It’s an important ingredient in all sorts of Chinese Medicine formulas, including anti-viral formulas that cave save lives during a pandemic. But thanks to the FDA, ephedra is now illegal to sell or prescribe in the United States, and anyone prescribing it to patients can be arrested and threatened with being shut down and put out of business.
Powerful pills + compromised health = bad combo
So why are weight loss pills linked with patient deaths at all? It’s simple: The few people dying from these pills are almost certainly health-compromised individuals with compromised liver or heart function who over-dose on the weight loss pills in a misguided, desperate attempt to drop some pounds.
This is what happened with ephedra: Some pill-popping consumers overdid the dosage, thinking “more is better,” over-stimulating their cardiovascular system and dying from a heart attack (which was no doubt imminent in the first place). Shoveling snow in the driveway probably would have triggered the same event.
In the case of Hydroxycut, the people who showed liver problems (there were only a few dozen even reported) no doubt suffered from serious liver problems even before they started taking the weight loss pills. They almost certainly weren’t taking a full complement of protective herbs, superfoods and nutritional supplements that protect the liver (such as dandelion and yellow dock, for example). Without a healthy liver to begin with, the extra dose of caffeine in Hydroxycut likely pushed them into the zone of liver problems.
It’s all so typically American. Everything in America is extreme, it seems: Reality TV, flavored snacks, sugary breakfast cereals, cosmetic surgery, money management and of course weight loss. American culture has no practical familiarity with the phrase, “all things in moderation,” and its people tend to take dieting efforts to the extreme. After all, what else would you call the “48-Hour Hollywood Diet,” which promises obscene weight loss in just two days drinking the world’s most over-priced fruit juice?
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