It’s great to be thin and fit, but it’s certainly not worth dying over.
KITV Honolulu reports that an investigation is surrounding a popular diet pill which has been pulled from the shelves nationally after 29 people in the state of Hawaii reported contracting hepatitis and going into acute kidney failure after taking it in the last six months. The death of one person, a 47-year-old mother of seven, who took the supplement to lose weight, is also under investigation, according to Hawaiian News Now.
The product is known as OxyELITE Pro, and its makers, USPLabs, have agreed to halt the domestic production of the product for now. The Hawaiian State Department of Health is asking retailers carrying the supplement, which is used to lose weight and help build muscle, to remove it from their shelves voluntarily pending medical investigation of the cases.
According to Dr. Sarah Park, a State Epidemiologist, "Twenty-four cases reported using Oxy ELITE Pro before their illness. No other supplement or medication has been identified in common among more than two patients."
Hawaiian Health Director Loretta Fuddy says, "The department continues to urge people who use dietary or nutritional supplements for weight loss and/or muscle gain to talk with their doctor or healthcare provider. Anyone who develops symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and /or vomiting, and yellow skin or eyes, should consult their doctor immediately."
The Huffington Post reports that earlier this year, the FDA warned against diet products containing dimethylamylamine (DMAA), which is contained in OxyELITE Pro, after the ingredient was linked to cases of serious illness and even death. The makers of OxyELITE Pro released the following statement defending their products:
The cluster of liver issues in Hawaii is a complete mystery and nothing like this has ever been associated with OxyELITE Pro in all of the years our products have been in the market. We know of no credible evidence linking OxyELITE Pro to liver issues. The ingredients have been studied for safety, are consumed in the food supply and widely used in dietary supplements. The studies and consumption history show no negative liver issues...Out of an abundance of caution, the company has ceased domestic distribution of OxyElite Pro with the Purple Top and OxyElite Pro Super Thermo Powder until the investigation has been completed. The company continues to believe these versions are safe and are not the cause of the cluster of liver toxicity that has occurred in Hawaii.
Medical experts say they don’t understand why the cluster of toxicity would be happening only in one state, since the same exact products are available nationwide.