Hydroxycut hepatotoxicity: a case series and review of liver toxicity from herbal weight loss supplements

World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Dec 7;14(45):6999-7004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.6999.


Dietary supplements represent an increasingly common source of drug-induced liver injury. Hydroxycut is a popular weight loss supplement which has previously been linked to hepatotoxicity, although the individual chemical components underlying liver injury remain poorly understood. We report two cases of acute hepatitis in the setting of Hydroxycut exposure and describe possible mechanisms of liver injury. We also comprehensively review and summarize the existing literature on commonly used weight loss supplements, and their individual components which have demonstrated potential for liver toxicity. An increased effort to screen for and educate patients and physicians about supplement-associated hepatotoxicity is warranted.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / adverse effects*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology*
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Plant Preparations
  • hydroxycut