Popular Diet Pill Contains Dangerous Ingredients

Another weight loss supplement is exposed as unsafe

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Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking a diet pill. Musketeer/ Digital Vision/ Getty Images

If you're taking a weight loss supplement, you might want to check the label. The Food and Drug Administration has busted another diet pill promoter for selling a weight loss supplement that is not only dangerous, but mislabeled as well.

Bee Pollen Pill is Dangerous, Says FDA

The FDA released a warning to Nutrishop a retail and online supplement seller, regarding a bee pollen pill that is sold online and in their retail stores.

According to the complaint, Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen and Classic/Original Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen contain sibutramine and phenolphthalein. 

If you've taken diet drugs before, sibutramine may sound familiar. Sibutramine was the active ingredient in Meridia, a prescription weight loss drug that was approved by the FDA for a short period of time. But it was removed from the market in 2010 when researchers found that it increased the user's risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Phenolphthalein is the other ingredient in the bee pollen pills that concerns the FDA.  It is a chemical that is not an active ingredient in any approved drug in the United States. According to the agency, "studies have indicated that it presents a cancer-causing risk."

Not Only Dangerous, But Mislabeled Too

In addition to the fact that the bee pollen pills contain dangerous ingredients, the FDA also cites that the pills are mislabeled.

That is, they contain dangerous ingredients and do not list the chemicals on the label.  So there is no way for a consumer to know that they are ingesting dangerous ingredients when they take the pills.

Nutrishop has received previous warnings about the dangerous pills but have continued to sell the product to consumers along with claims that the weight loss supplement is safe: Says the FDA to Nutrishop, "despite this knowledge, you continue to offer this potentially dangerous product on your website with statements claiming it is "all-natural" and "safe."  

How to Protect Yourself if You Are Trying to Lose Weight

Unfortunately, there are very few pills or supplements that have been proven to be safe and effective for weight loss. The pills that have been tested and approved for sale are only available by prescription and even those carry some side effects and offer only a minimal improvement in weight.

So what's a dieter to do?  It's not glamorous, but the most effective path to weight loss is energy balance management.  There are different ways to do it, but the bottom line is that you have to burn more calories than you consume.  If you've tried and failed to lose weight repeatedly, talk to your doctor about potential medical causes.  But don't take a pill and assume that it's safe.  Your health is too important to compromise.

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