Working in conjunction with the Hawaii Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health warning regarding a dietary supplement marketed for muscle gain and weight loss.
In early September, seven previously healthy patients in Hawaii were hospitalized for acute hepatitis and sudden liver failure. Before falling ill, all of these patients had taken OxyELITE Pro, a supplement meant for losing weight and building muscle.
According to a statement from the CDC on the Health Alert Network, “CDC recommends increased vigilance by public health agencies, emergency departments, and healthcare providers for patients who develop acute hepatitis or liver failure following use of a weight loss or muscle building nutritional supplement.”
Since the first report, 45 patients have presented with similar symptoms. Twenty-nine of them, including the original seven, were diagnosed with acute hepatitis. Two of the patients have since received liver transplants and one has died.
The investigation is ongoing, as investigators are still trying to fully understand the connection between the supplement and the illness. The CDC is working with state health departments to determine whether or not this illness is a national concern.
The company that manufactures OxyELITE is in the process of voluntarily reformulating its product in light of the recent medical events.
For nutritionists and dietitians, this case underscores the importance of advising patients to work closely with health practitioners when embarking on a health or training nutritional regiment.
In their focus on reaching health goals or seeking positive weight loss results, clients may not consider how a supplement being taken may react negatively with medicine or other supplements. In addition, it is important that patients understand how some supplements are regulated and some are not.
Clinicians or state health facilities that have patients who match this case definition should contact the CDC for more information.