In the U.S., supplements and herbal products are not the same as prescription drugs and are therefore not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. For consumers in Tennessee, this means dangerous and potentially life-threatening products can be on the shelves.
Take for example the recent news that the diet supplement Fat Loss Zero contains a dangerous drug.
According to an FDA warning, even though Fat Loss Zero has natural ingredients, like bee pollen and green tea, it also contains sibutramine and phenolphthalein.
Sibutramine was pulled from products in October 2010 after the health risks were discovered. The issue with this prescription diet drug is that it can increase a user's blood pressure and pulse rate. For those with coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, stroke or congestive heart failure, this can end up being a deadly combination. Other medications may also negatively react with sibutramine and could potentially lead to death.
With phenolphthalein, it was pulled from products after it was found the laxative might cause cancer.
In looking at the life-threatening potential of sibutramine and phenolphthalein, those taking products such as Fat Loss Zero and Fruit & Plant Slimming may be shocked to learn these dangerous drugs are still ending up in products.
This is why it is important to read all labels and really investigate any supplement or herbal product before taking it, as these are not products regulated by the FDA. Rather, the FDA becomes involved by testing these products after the fact and then warning the general public.