Warning on Food Supplements Linked to Liver Disorders

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Consumers are being warned today not to take a number of food supplements that can pose serious health risks and that have been identified for sale in the Irish retail sector and through online sources. The Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI) and the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) today jointly stated that four products: OxyELITE Pro Super Thermo capsules; OxyELITE Pro Ultra-Intense Thermo capsules; OxyELITE Pro Super Thermo powder and VERSA-1 should not be purchased or taken by consumers.

These products, and others in the OxyELITE Pro range, have been associated with severe liver disorders, including hepatitis and liver failure, with one case reported in Ireland to date. These products contain an ingredient called aegeline and are being investigated in the US where a large number of cases of non-viral hepatitis have been reported, including one fatality and people requiring liver transplants.

Ray Ellard, Director of Consumer Protection, FSAI stated an alert to the retail sector to immediately remove these products from sale has been issued and anyone who has these products at home is advised not to consume them and to dispose of them.

“Outlets, such as gyms, sports supplement retailers and businesses selling supplements from websites are being asked to remove these products from sale and to clearly display a point-of-sale notice if they sold the products in the past,” he said. “People are taking a serious risk by taking these products.  We know that OxyELITE Pro has, in the past, contained another unsafe ingredient and is now linked as a possible cause of acute hepatitis.  Consumers should not purchase these types of products online as there is no guarantee of their safety or what they actually contain”.

According to John Lynch, Director of Compliance, IMB, anyone who may have consumed these products and has concerns about their health should seek medical advice. He also noted that some of these products have, in the past, included a medicinal active substance rendering those packs illegal medicines in Ireland.

“People are advised that, if they are feeling any ill effects after taking any of these products, they should contact their doctor and, if possible, present the product in question.  We believe people are seeking these products for a number of reasons including weight loss, energy boosting and muscle building. We seriously urge people not to buy or consume these as they can cause a significant risk to your health.”