Three weight loss products claiming to be “natural” or “herbal” were found to contain a banned toxic substance.
Consumers who took these products experienced adverse effects such as rapid heartbeat, dry mouth and extreme thirst. The products, sold on Shopee, and have been removed from the listing after they were flagged by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). A warning has also been issued to the sellers.
According to a statement released by HSA on Friday (12 January), the three weight loss products – Nature Slim, Slimming Seven Days by Figure Up and Energy Booster Figure-Up New Look Strong Version – were found to have high amounts of sibutramine.
Sibutramine is a prescription weight loss medication that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Consumption of Sibutramine can also lead to cardiac problems and central nervous system disruptions, potentially causing hallucinations or mental confusion.
Sibutramine is a prescription-only weight loss medicine that has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Other serious health consequences reported with its use include heart problems and central nervous system disorders, such as psychosis and hallucinations.
One consumer who took Nature Slim for two months experienced symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, dry mouth and extreme thirst. Her friend claimed that these symptoms were normal as the product’s advertisement stated that it promotes metabolism. She became suspicious after finding out from a previous HSA press release that the effects could be due to the presence of sibutramine. She later made a report to HSA.
HSA also found a significant amount of sibutramine in Slimming Seven Days by Figure Up and Energy Booster Figure-Up New Look Strong Version.
In addition, these products were falsely labelled with “GMP” logos, which may mislead consumers into believing that the products are safe and manufactured under high quality standards certified by Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
HSA urged consumers who have purchased these products to immediately stop taking them and seek medical attention if they feel unwell. It also added that consumers should not buy products from unknown or unverifiable sources and that they should “exercise caution” when buying products online or from overseas.
HSA said that all sellers and suppliers must immediately stop selling these products.
Sellers found to be selling products containing banned substances or potent ingredients are liable to prosecution and if convicted, they may be jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $10,000.