FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Some bee pollen
products marketed for weight loss may actually threaten your
health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.
These potentially dangerous products have been found to contain
undeclared ingredients that may harm people who have conditions
such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and bipolar
disorder, the agency said.
According to the FDA, the undeclared ingredients sibutramine
and/or phenolphthalein have been found in the following bee pollen
weight loss products: Zi Xiu Tang, Ultimate Formula, Fat Zero,
Bella Vi Amp'd Up, Insane Amp'd Up, Slim Trim U, Infinity, Perfect
Body Solution, Asset Extreme, Asset Extreme Plus, Asset Bold, and
Asset Bee Pollen.
Sibutramine was removed from the U.S. market in late 2010 after
studies showed that it increased people's risk of heart attack and
stroke. Phenolphthalein, a laxative and a suspected cancer-causing
agent, isn't approved in the United States, the FDA said.
The agency said it has received more than 50 reports of problems
caused by tainted bee pollen weight loss products, including at
least one death, serious heart issues, chest pain, heart
palpitations, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure,
seizures, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, insomnia and diarrhea.
The FDA is testing other bee pollen weight loss products
suspected to contain undeclared drugs.
The FDA also noted that many bee pollen products make unproven
claims about treating or preventing a number of diseases and signs
or symptoms of disease, including obesity, allergies, high blood
pressure and cholesterol.
"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," Gary Coody, FDA's national health fraud
coordinator, said in an agency news release.
Consumers and health care professionals should report any
adverse events caused by bee pollen products to the FDA's MedWatch
program at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch.
"It is tempting to believe that a quick and effortless weight
loss supplement is safe for use," Jason Humbert, a senior
regulatory manager with FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs, said in
the news release. "But given the fact that these products contain a
hidden dangerous ingredient, consumers should avoid taking
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases explains how to choose a
safe and successful weight loss program.