But some common ingredients in weight loss products have been banned by the FDA due to harmful side effects such as:
Increased heart rate
Insomnia and inability to sleep
Widely used as an ingredient in diet supplements, ephedra was banned as a Chinese herbal stimulant in 2004 due to evidence that its use may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. In 2005, a court of first instance ruled that ephedra could be used in small doses. In 2006, a federal appeals court reinstated the original FDA ban, ruling that ephedra is too dangerous to be used as an ingredient in any dose in any dietary supplement.
Hydroxycut – prohibited
Some weight loss products can cause severe damage to the kidneys, liver and other vital organs. Hydroxycut products were banned and recalled in 2009 due to reports of serious adverse reactions, including hepatitis. One person was recorded as dying from taking fat burning supplements, and another requiring a liver transplant.
Meridia – pulled from the market
Sibutramine, a drug sold under the name Meridia, was withdrawn from the market in 2010 after a clinical study showed that the drug could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, Sibutramine was originally prescribed as a long-term solution for treating appetite and weight management. The manufacturer voluntarily stopped production after Meridia was linked with evidence of cardiovascular damage.