In Hawaii, health officials linked an outbreak of liver problems to OxyElite Pro. Later it was determined that while the bottle said the pills were made with aegeline, a natural component found in Bael trees that has been used for centuries and is considered safe, the makers of OxyElite Pro didn’t actually use the Bael tree extract, they purchased the aegeline from a company in China. Within months, dozens of consumers started suffering liver failure. One victim was a mother of seven who had used OxyElite Pro just weeks before becoming so sick she was placed in a medically induced coma. Unfortunately, her health deteriorated rapidly, and she died a week later.
Drug Induced Liver Injury Nearly Triples – Researchers Say It’s the Supplements
A study published in the journal Hepatology examined about 700 cases of liver damage that were reported to the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network. Of those, 130 were linked to use of dietary supplements. Study authors wrote that about half of the analyzed cases were linked to weight loss and bodybuilding supplements, but other cases included supplements marketed for sexual performance, digestive upset, and depression.
While some of the analyzed supplements contained prescription drugs and other substances not listed on their labels, researchers were surprised that green tea extract (GTE) was one of two substances that stood out for their unique risks. In fact, GTE, whether on its own or combined with other substances, was linked to liver damage in 24 of the 130 cases.
In 2017, Consumer Reports worked with a panel of dietary supplement researchers and independent physicians to identify the most harmful supplement ingredients on the market. These ingredients have been associated with kidney or liver problems, cardiac arrest or heart attack, organ failure, death, has carcinogenic properties, are found to contain prescription drugs, and/or the FDA requested the product be removed from the market. Of those ingredients, the following were associated with liver damage:
Chaparral – also known as Greasewood, Larrea divaricate, larreastate, Larrea tridentate, and creosote bush
Coltsfoot – also known as coughwort, foalswort, farfarae folium leaf, and tussilago farfara
Comfrey – also known as bruisewort, blackwort, Symphytum officinale, and slippery root
Germander – also called viscidum or teucrium chamaedrys
Green Tea Extract Powder – also known as Camellia sinensis
Kava – also known as wild tobacco, Lobelia inflata, asthma weed, and vomit wort
Pennyroyal Oil – also known as Mentha pulegium, and hedeoma pulegioides
Red Yeast Rice – also known as Manascus purpureus
Usnic Acid – also known as usnea, tree moss, and beard moss
Yohimbe – also known as Johimbi, pausinystalia yohimbe, yohimbine, or corynanthe johimbi