Hepatoxicity associated with weight-loss supplements: a case for better post-marketing surveillance

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Apr 14;15(14):1786-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.1786.


There is a growing number of case reports of hepatoxicity from the widely marketed weight-loss supplement Hydroxycut, which contains the botanical ingredient Garcinia cambogia. These case reports may substantially undercount the true magnitude of harm. Based on the past experience with harmful dietary supplements, US regulators should assume the more precautionary approach favored by Canada and Europe. Lacking effective adverse event surveillance for supplements, or the requirements to prove safety prior to coming to the market, case reports such as those summarized here assume added importance.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Marketing*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Obesity Agents