No evidence demonstrating hepatotoxicity associated with hydroxycitric acid

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Aug 28;15(32):4087-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.4087.


Although a number of cases of hepatotoxicity are associated with the use of Hydroxycut weight management products, it has been alleged that their effects are primarily due to the presence of hydroxycitric acid (HCA, as Super CitriMax) in the formulations. However, while these products contain up to 20 different ingredients, some do not contain HCA. Case studies reported to date have not considered in depth the literature on the numerous animal and human studies that have been conducted on the safety and efficacy of HCA. No HCA-associated hepatotoxicity or treatment-related adverse effects have been reported in these studies, and thus it is premature to make the assumptions presented in the recent case studies regarding Hydroxycut. If it is established in well controlled studies that the use of these formulations with and/or without HCA can result in the occurrence or progression of hepatotoxicity, additional studies should be conducted to characterize the causative factor(s).

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / adverse effects*
  • Citrates / toxicity*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Citrates
  • hydroxycitric acid