Information about Hydroxycut
Hydroxycut is the commercial name a variety of multi-ingredient nutritional supplements (MINS) marketed for weight loss, body building and “fat burning”. In 2004, Hydroxycut products containing ephedra were withdrawn from use in the United States because of cardiovascular risks and in 2009 because of hepatotoxicity. Nevertheless, Hydroxycut products with different ingredients are still commercially available and have continued to be implicated in cases of clinically apparent acute liver injury.
History of Hydroxycut
Hydroxycut is the proprietary name of a series of multi-ingredient nutritional supplements that are typically marketed as weight loss, body building, “fat burning” and performance enhancement aids. Initial ingredients in the products included caffeine and ephedra which in animal studies led to weight loss. In 2004, the FDA banned the use of ephedra in nutritional supplements and the composition of Hydroxycut was altered, with removal of ephedra. The products were often labelled as “ephedra-free”. Ingredients varied in different forms of the Hydroxycut products, but they generally included caffeine, green tea extract and proprietary mixtures of botanicals of undeclared concentration, source and purity.
Liver safety of Hydroxycut
Hydroxycut products continued to be implicated in rare cases of acute liver injury. In 2009, after a review and identification of 23 cases of liver injury linked to Hydroxycut exposure, including one death, the FDA recalled all Hydroxycut products and mandated removal of products already in distribution. However, nutritional supplements under the name Hydroxycut continued to be marketed, but with different formulations. While reported cases of liver injury due to Hydroxycut decreased, they continued to appear. At present, several products labelled as Hydroxycut are available and still widely used.
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