Weight loss product sold online found to contain banned substance and laxative: HSA

Singapore
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SINGAPORE: A product marketed with claims it could lead to weight loss has been found to contain “potent ingredients” that can cause serious adverse effects, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Wednesday (Nov 25). 

Members of the public were alerted to not buy or consume Queenz Mango Xsliim Botanical Beverage Mix Mango Powder with Garcinia Cambogia & Aloe Vera Extract, after tests showed it contained sibutramine, a banned substance, and sennoside, a laxative.  

The product was sold on local e-commerce platforms such as Carousell, Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, the authority said. 

CONSUMERS EXPERIENCED CHEST DISCOMFORT AND INCREASED HEARTBEAT

HSA said it received feedback from two consumers who experienced chest discomfort, increased heartbeat and dry mouth after taking the product. 

The product was marketed with claims that it could produce fast weight loss without the need for exercise or diet control. 

READ: HSA warns against use of Mone Macha Cocoa slimming product that contains banned substance

“It also falsely misled consumers with claims such as ‘healthy and natural’ slimming product with fruit and botanical extracts for ‘body detoxification’ and ‘weight management to benefit our body’.

“This was contrary to HSA’s tests which detected potent ingredients in the product,” said HSA.

Sibrutamine was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss medicine in Singapore. It was banned in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and strokes. 

Other serious adverse effects reported by consumers included insomnia, hallucinations and hearing voices. 

Last year, a consumer experienced “extremely” fast heart rate and became unconscious after consuming BB Body, which contained sibutramine, according to HSA. She required resuscitation and was eventually implanted with a defibrillator. 

READ: 4 products touted to have slimming effects found to contain banned substance, laxative: HSA

The laxative, sennoside, is used for the relief of constipation. Adverse effects include cramping, diarrhoea and loss of essential minerals. 

“Prolonged use may cause chronic constipation, fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, bloating and abdominal pain.” 

CONSUMERS SHOULD STOP TAKING PRODUCTS, SEE DOCTOR IF UNWELL

Consumers were advised to stop taking the product immediately and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health. 

HSA also advised them to be wary of products carrying exaggerated claims of fast weight loss without the need for exercise or diet control, or deliver quick effects. 

“They can contain potent ingredients that can seriously harm your health. 

“Do not trust online product reviews, as these testimonials usually cannot be verified,” said HSA. 

READ: Consumers warned against taking 3 health products containing ‘potent’ ingredients, banned substance: HSA

The authority added that there is no “quick and easy way” to lose weight and weight control should be achieved through a combination of balanced diet and appropriate exercise. 

Consumers who need help managing their weight should consult their doctor, dietitian or a healthcare professional. 

The respective website administrators were directed to take down affected listings of the product and warnings were issued to the sellers, said the authority. 

“All sellers and suppliers must stop selling ‘Queenz Mango Xsliim’ immediately.

“HSA will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sell and supply products found to be adulterated with banned substances or potent ingredients,” it said. 

HSA warned that sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution. If convicted, they may be imprisoned for up to two years, fined up to S$10,000 or both. 

Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of the product may also contact HSA’s enforcement branch at 6866 3485 during office hours on Monday to Friday or email hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg. 

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