June 2013

FDA: Two Weight Loss Products Contain Hidden Ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued warnings regarding two products marketed for weight loss.

These products are Strawberry Balance and Meizi Evolution.

Laboratory analysis has revealed that both of these products contain the hidden ingredient sibutramine. In 2010, this controlled substance was removed from the market due to safety concerns. Sibutramine is known to significantly increase pulse rate and/or blood pressure in some people and may pose a risk to those who have a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, or stroke. Sibutramine may also have potentially dangerous interactions with other medications.

The FDA also warned that Strawberry Balance also contains phenolphthalein. Phenolphthalein was an ingredient found in some over-the-counter laxatives. However, the ingredient was reclassified in 1999 by the FDA as "not generally recognized as safe and effective."

The FDA advises consumers in possession of Strawberry Balance or Meizi Evolution to discard them immediately and to report any side effects to a healthcare provider. Side effects associated with these products should also be reported to the FDA's Medwatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

For more information safety advisories, please visit Natural Standard's News Database.


  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

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