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June 19, 2014: FDA Warns of Dangerous Illicit Bee Pollen Weight Loss Products

Dangerous Illicit Bee Pollen Weight Loss Products

According to an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Consumer Update, consumers should be cautious when buying products that promise to help you lose weight or reshape your body; if this product contains “bee pollen” that product could contain dangerous illicit ingredients.
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“When people buy these tainted bee pollen weight loss products, they are unknowingly taking one or more hidden drugs that have been banned from the market,” warns Gary Coody, R.Ph., FDA’s national health fraud coordinator.

See the entire report and list of tainted products at Some Bee Pollen Weight Loss Products Are a Dangerous Scam.

A Dangerous Concoction

According to Dr. Coody, some bee pollen products marketed for weight loss have been found to contain hidden and potentially dangerous ingredients that may be harmful for people who have conditions such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and bipolar disorders. Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein are two popular illegal substances that have been found in bee pollen products.

The Harmful Substances

Jason Humbert, a senior regulatory manager with FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs explains the danger of each of these substances:

    Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 after clinical data indicated that it posed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke .
    Phenolphthalein is a laxative and a suspected cancer-causing agent, isn’t approved in the United States. FDA has classified phenolphthalein as not generally recognized as safe and effective.

Adverse Effect Reports

Consumers and health care professionals have reported more than 50 adverse event reports associated with the use of tainted bee pollen weight loss products. The reports include at least one death, serious cardiac issues, chest pain, heart palpitations, tachycardia (increased heart rate), increased blood pressure, seizures, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, insomnia and diarrhea.

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