Richmond Review

Weight-loss products from Cube Inc. may pose serious health risks

Three unauthorized weight loss products have been seized from Richmond's Cube Inc. inside Aberdeen Centre because of undisclosed ingredients that may pose serious health risks, Health Canada advised Friday.

Consumers of Goya Bittermelon, S-organic Cocoa+L-carnitine, and KaBaNa L-Carnitine 360 Slimming Coffee, have been advised to consult their health practitioner, and should report any adverse reactions to Health Canada (toll free at 1-866-234-2345).

Two hidden drug ingredients—sibutramine and phenolphthalein—along with caffeine, which was not listed on the product label, prompted the seizure.

Sibutramine was previously used to treat obesity, but isn't authorized for sale in Canada because it's now associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular side-effects such as heart attack and stroke, according to Health Canada.

Phenolphthalein was previously used as a laxative, but is no longer permitted for sale in Canada because it may cause cancer, and is linked to side effects such as decreased blood pressure, skin rash and gastrointestinal bleeding.

The sale of health products is governed by the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations, and selling unauthorized products is against the law. Retailers found selling unapproved products may have them seized by Health Canada or by law enforcement authorities.

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