health

Stop Taking Hydroxycut

Posted by 1 May, 2009 As diet pills,diet supplements,health,healthy diet,magic diet,magic pill (0) Comment

A few months ago, FDA released a list with names of diet pills that were considered unsafe. Hydroxycut was not one of them, but FDA now warns consumers to immediately stop taking this popular diet pill.

The FDA Press Release states:

FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using Hydroxycut Products
Dietary Supplements Linked to One Death; Pose Risk of Liver Injury

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut products by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario and distributed by Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y. Some Hydroxycut products are associated with a number of serious liver injuries. Iovate has agreed to recall Hydroxycut products from the market.

The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA. Other health problems reported include seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.

Liver injury, although rare, was reported by patients at the doses of Hydroxycut recommended on the bottle. Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite.

“The FDA urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk. Adverse events are rare, but exist. Consumers should consult a physician or other health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms possibly associated with these products,” said Linda Katz, M.D., interim chief medical officer of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Hydroxycut products are dietary supplements that are marketed for weight-loss, as fat burners, as energy-enhancers, as low carb diet aids, and for water loss under the Iovate and MuscleTech brand names. The list of products being recalled by Iovate currently includes:

Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut 24
Hydroxycut Carb Control
Hydroxycut Natural

Although the FDA has not received reports of serious liver-related adverse reactions for all Hydroxycut products, Iovate has agreed to recall all the products listed above. Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia products are not affected by the recall. Consumers who have any of the products involved in the recall are advised to stop using them and to return them to the place of purchase. The agency has not yet determined which ingredients, dosages, or other health-related factors may be associated with risks related to these Hydroxycut products. The products contain a variety of ingredients and herbal extracts.

Health care professionals and consumers are encouraged to report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online, by regular mail, fax or phone.

  • Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Regular Mail: Use FDA postage paid form 3500 found at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
  • Fax: 800-FDA-0178
  • Phone: 800-FDA-1088

The FDA continues to investigate the potential relationship between Hydroxycut dietary supplements and liver injury or other potentially serious side effects.

The main Hydroxycut website is putting a little milder spin on it. hydroxycut.com is redirected to hydroxycutinformation.com where they state:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a consumer advisory about certain Hydroxycut-branded products. According to the advisory, the FDA has received 23 reports over the years about consumers having experienced serious liver-related problems coinciding with the time they were taking Hydroxycut-branded products. The advisory states that, “Although the liver damage appears to be relatively rare, FDA believes consumers should not be exposed to unnecessary risk.”

While this is a small number of reports relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products over the years, out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is our top priority, we are voluntarily recalling these Hydroxycut-branded products.

Hmm. The Hydroxycut company must have received a different version of the advisory as compared to the press release. Or, could it be that they are stretching the truth a little?

FDA said nothing about “over the years,” “liver-related problems,” “exposed to unnecessary risk,” nor mentioned “millions of people.”

FDA said “serious liver injuries” and “urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk.”

Also note that the “standard blame” that people exceed the recommended dose (as was done with Ephedra) cannot be used in this case. FDA states

Liver injury, although rare, was reported by patients at the doses of Hydroxycut recommended on the bottle. Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite.

Please stop taking this “supplement” immediately. I would also suggest not to go in search of another miracle pill to take it’s place. Surely, it’s just a matter of time before they find that pill to be harmful as well.

Note. Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc, the manufacturer of Hydroxycut, will provide a refund if you return the bottle to the place of purchase.

Losing Weight or Keeping It Off

Posted by 31 January, 2009 As diet,health,healthy diet,maintain weight loss,quick weight loss,weight loss (0) Comment

What is most important? Losing weight or keeping it off? The answer seems to be losing. Fast.

Every dieter is looking for the formula that will provide the quickest weight loss possible. Of course, time is critical as we know by experience that we will not be able to stick to the diet for any longer period of time. Sooner or later there will be off plan eating. Sooner or later, the deprivation will lead to a binge. We just hope that it will never happen. Still, it always does.

A “successful” diet is one where the on-plan eating produces a larger pound loss than what is regained during off-plan incidents. We might even reach goal. Yay! And then what?

There is no glory in maintenance. No rewards. Not seeing a lower scale number every day. Nobody telling you: “Wow, you are just as thin now as six months ago!”

Media is not helpful. Programs like the Biggest Loser reinforce the idea that it’s all about losing weight. Quickly. At all costs. Diet sites feature weight loss success stories like “Cindy lost 100 pounds in 8 months.”

Or, the ridiculous Kimkins newsletters that try to sell that diet by saying that someone lost 10 pounds in a week. And that will tell me just what? If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, it is not difficult to drop 10 pounds in a week by not eating. But how long can you continue to do that? Will those 10 pounds stay off even a month? A year? 10 years?

What’s the point in losing weight if it doesn’t stay off?

Restrictive diets don’t work. Find a way of eating that you can do for life. With healthy choices (and you know what those are) you might not end up model thin, but there is a good chance that you will reach a healthy weight range. That you can maintain.

Beware of “Natural” Weight Loss Supplements

Posted by 10 January, 2009 As diet,diet pills,diet supplements,health,healthy diet,quick weight loss,weight loss (0) Comment

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that there is a range of diet pills being sold nationwide, as well as over the internet, that are now considered unsafe.

FDA suggests to consult with your health care professional before taking dietary supplements to treat obesity or other diseases. All consumers should be familiar with the following signs of health fraud:

  • Promises of an “easy” fix for problems like excess weight, hair loss, or impotency.
  • Claims such as “scientific breakthrough,” “miraculous cure,” “secret ingredient,” and “ancient remedy.”
  • Impressive-sounding terms, such as “hunger stimulation point” and “thermogenesis” for a weight loss product.
  • Claims that the product is safe because it is “natural.”
  • Undocumented case histories or personal testimonials by consumers or doctors claiming amazing results.
  • Promises of no-risk, money-back guarantees.

I would like to add “studies suggest” or “extensive research indicates” or “patented.” None of these statements really say that what was studied, researched or patented actually did anything.

But when I first saw this announcement a couple of weeks back, I was under the impression that while these pills / supplements were completely useless, they might not really pose much danger. Not so. Reading closer, I find that these “natural supplements” may “contain prescription drugs in amounts that greatly exceed their maximum recommended dose.”

The updated (01/08/2009) list includes the following products:

Contains Sibutramine

  • 2 Day Diet
  • 2 Day Diet Slim Advance
  • 2x Powerful Slimming
  • 3 Day Diet
  • 3 Days Fit
  • 3x Slimming Power
  • 5x Imelda Perfect Slimming
  • 7 Day Herbal Slim
  • 7 Days Diet
  • 7 Diet
  • 7 Diet Day/Night Formula
  • 8 Factor Diet
  • Eight Factor Diet
  • 21 Double Slim
  • 24 Hours Diet
  • 999 Fitness Essence
  • BioEmagrecim
  • Body Creator
  • Body Shaping
  • Body Slimming
  • Cosmo Slim
  • Extrim Plus
  • Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn
  • Fasting Diet
  • Fatloss Slimming
  • GMP
  • Imelda Fat Reducer
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • JM Fat Reducer
  • Lida DaiDaihua
  • Meili
  • Meizitang
  • Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang
  • Miaozi Slim Capsules
  • Natural Model
  • Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim 5x
  • Perfect Slim Up
  • Powerful Slim
  • ProSlim Plus
  • Reduce Weight
  • Royal Slimming Formula
  • Sana Plus
  • Slim 3 in 1
  • Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula
  • Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula
  • Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet
  • Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula
  • Slim Burn
  • Slim Express 4 in 1
  • Slim Express 360
  • Slim Fast
  • Slim Tech
  • Slim Up
  • Slim Waist Formula
  • Slim Waistline
  • Sliminate
  • Slimming Formula
  • Somotrim
  • Super Fat Burner
  • Superslim
  • Super Slimming
  • Trim 2 Plus
  • Triple Slim
  • Venom Hyperdrive 3.0
  • Waist Strength Formula
  • Zhen de Shou

Contains Rimonabant

  • Phyto Shape

Contains Phenytoin

  • 3x Slimming Power
  • Extrim Plus

Contains Phenolphthalein

  • 8 Factor Diet
  • 24 Hours Diet
  • Fatloss Slimming
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim 5x
  • Royal Slimming Formula
  • Superslim
  • Zhen de Shou

Contains Bumetanide

  • Starcaps

FDA details what these ingredients do:

Sibutramine is a Schedule IV controlled substance and the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, an approved prescription drug to treat obesity. Some of the identified products recommend taking more than 3 times the recommended daily dosage of sibutramine. Because of this, even consumers without a history of health problems that take these high doses of sibutramine may suffer serious adverse effects if they take these products, such as increased blood pressure, tachycardia, palpitations, and seizure.

Rimonabant is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Zimulti which has not been approved in the United States. In Europe the drug is known as Acomplia. In June 2007, the FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously voted not to recommend approval of the drug because of increased risk of neurological and psychiatric side effects—seizures, depression, anxiety, insomnia, aggressiveness, and suicidal thoughts among patients. In June of 2008, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom linked rimonabant to 5 deaths and 720 adverse reactions over the past two years. In October, the European Medicines Agency recommended that marketing and sales of Accomplia be suspended due to safety concerns.

Phenolphthalein was an ingredient in some Over-the-Counter laxative products until 1999 when the FDA reclassified the drug as “not generally recognized as safe and effective” after studies indicated that phenolphthalein presented a potential carcinogenic risk. Phenolphthalein has also been found to be genotoxic in that it can damage or cause mutations to DNA.

Phenytoin is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Dilantin, an approved anti-seizure medication.

Bumetanide is a the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Bumex, a prescription diuretic. Potential risks associated with the use of Bumetanide include serious and significant fluid and electrolyte loss and an elevation in uric acid concentrations.

Tipping the Scales to Health

Posted by 20 December, 2008 As diet,diet forum,health,healthy diet,maintain weight loss,weight loss,weight loss forum (0) Comment

Tipping the Scales to Health

is now open!

The online world has a wonderful new resource
for desperate dieters and
anybody else who is determined to make health a priority in 2009.

Join old friends and new as we kick the New Year off
with a renewed dedication to health and weight loss

Healthy Cat Food

Posted by 8 December, 2008 As cat food,diet,health,kittens,Uncategorized (0) Comment

I have been occupied lately with the latest addition to my family: two kittens. They eat a lot. One can in the morning and one can at night between the two of them.

Can? Canned food?

I wonder how many cats live their entire life eating nothing else than canned cat food. Some of my previous cats certainly did.

Now I realize that cats are not people and their nutritional needs are different from ours. But can it really be good to get nothing else than canned food? Every day? All their life?

I hardly use cans at all in my cooking. Sure, the occasional canned tomatoes for my homemade spaghetti sauce, but that is pretty much it. Canned vegetables? Never! If fresh are not available, I use frozen.

So why would I let my cats live on canned food? Convenience, of course. I have to trust that pet food manufacturers have some clue of what a cat needs. At least cats seem to stay well and healthy on what they offer.

However, I do intend to mix in raw meat and fish in their diet, when practical. Not perhaps buy it separately for them, but cut off a piece before I cook it for us. Give them the chicken liver and heart. It’s also easy to keep frozen fish in the freezer and thaw a fillet just for them now and then.

I fed them ground beef for the first time tonight. They loved it! Didn’t even look at the bowl next to it with a can of the best kitten food you can buy. Pretty amazing, huh?

A Healthy Diet

Posted by 23 November, 2008 As diet,health (0) Comment

What is a healthy diet? Depends on who you ask.

I have followed a low carb diet for several years. In my opinion, this is a healthy way of eating. I just limit carbs, especially the white stuff (sugar, pasta, potatoes) and don’t count anything. I eat a lot of non-starchy veggies and I eat fruit on occasion. I don’t limit protein and fats, and ignore the misconception (in my opinion) that saturated fats are bad for us. I reached goal more than 4 years ago and have since maintained.

Others follow lower fat, higher carb diets with success. Weight Watchers is one of them, and many find the point system being helpful for both weight loss and to maintain. After a while, counting points become intuitive to them and is not a burden.

South Beach is another lower fat diet which limits carbs more than WW but is not as strict as Atkins. SB allows “healthy” grains in the form of brown rice and whole wheat bread and pasta. For people feeling deprived of these items on Atkins, SB might be a good choice.

Then there are a million “quick fix diets” out there. Diets that severely limit calories. Promising fast weight loss. While the weight might come off quickly, as promised, the dieter often finds it impossible to stick to it. Deprivation backfires and leads to off-plan eating or binges. More often than not, the weight is regained even more quickly than it was lost. To me, this is not a healthy diet as it leads to yo-yo dieting with cycles of restricting and binging.

It is a huge misconception that a short term approach will lead to long term success.

For me, a healthy diet is one that you can stick to for the rest of your life. That easily transitions into maintenance. That doesn’t make you feel deprived. That doesn’t tempt you to go off plan. Or, allows occasional off-plan eating without leading to abandon of the plan altogether.

I found it with low carb. You choice might be different.

Tipping the Scales to Health

Posted by 22 November, 2008 As diet,health,mental health (0) Comment

“Tipping the Scales” is an idiom for “causing a change, especially in making something more likely to happen”.

“Health” depends on many things. It can be your weight, it can be fitness, mental state and most likely is a combination of all these.

In 1948, the World Health Assembly defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition is still widely referenced, but is often supplemented by other World Health Organization (WHO) reports such as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion which in 1986 stated that health is “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.” [Wikipedia]