Various case studies reveal that severe liver damage and even failure has been associated with weight loss supplements, herbal supplements and energy drinks.
There have been many reports of toxicity associated with dietary supplement use over the years, some with severe and even fatal outcomes.
Lead investigator Dina Halegoua-De Marzio, M.D., reported a rare case of fulminant liver failure associated with the ingestion of SlimQuick, a weight loss supplement containing green tea extract.
A 52-year old female patient was admitted to the emergency room after one week of vomiting and progressive jaundice. The patient reported she had ingested SlimQuick for two days, while fasting three weeks prior to intake.
According to Dr. Halegoua-De Marzio, the patient's physical examination showed normal mental status, icteric sclera, mild abdominal distension and lower extremity edema.
Her liver biopsy was consistent with confluent hepatic necrosis with collapse. The steroid prednisone was started but discontinued after two days, as liver function worsened and mental status deteriorated. After being evaluated and listed for liver transplant, the patient underwent transplantation two days later.
Dr. Halegoua-De Marzio believes this is the first reported case of fulminant liver failure due to the consumption of SlimQuick. The main ingredient in SlimQuick is green tea extract, a common ingredient in several dietary supplements, some of which have been withdrawn from the market due to safety concerns.
Other case reports were about Black Cohosh-induced hepatotoxicity leading to early cirrhosis, acute liver failure following consumption of a popular sugar-free energy drink for a year and a case of drug-induced liver injury arising from ripped fuel.