The FDA recently warned that its lab analysis has identified an undeclared ingredient in multiple dietary supplements marketed as natural remedies for weight loss. The ingredient in question - sibutramine - "was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 for safety reasons." According to the FDA, sibutramine can "substantially increase blood pressure and or pulse rate" and may "present a significant risk" for people with a history of cardiovascular problems. In addition, sibutramine may "interact, in life-threatening ways," with some drugs.
Dietary supplements in which the harmful substance has been identified include Slim Fortune, Slim Expert, Lidiy, Bella Vi Insane Amp'd, Bella Vi Amp'd Up, Be Inspired, Dr. Mao Slimming Capsules, Perfect Body Solutions, and Burn 7. Three of these supplements (Slim Fortune, Slim Expert, and Lidiy) have been voluntarily recalled by B@B Trade, Inc., Florida.
Further, some of the above supplements (Bella Vi Insane Amp'd, Bella Vi Amp'd Up, and Be Inspired) were also found to contain phenolphthalein, a laxative that was reclassified by the FDA in 1999 as "not generally recognized as safe and effective."
In all cases, the FDA recommends that consumers "stop using these products immediately and throw them away." Consumers should also contact a physician if they have experienced any side effects.
The findings by the FDA are evidence for "an emerging trend where over-the-counter products, frequently represented as dietary supplements, contain hidden active ingredients that could be harmful."