Hydroxycut 2003 Lawsuit
The first round of action the company was a lawsuit filed in 2003 by Missouri's Attorney General. The suit contended that some of the company's marketing claims were patently false, including the claim that Hydroxycut was clinically proven to burn fat. The suit claims there was no clinical evidence or research provided by Iovate to back up such claims.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs took issues with Hydroxycut's "before" and "after" photos, alleging they were misleading. At the center of that charge were the photos of one woman who was actually pregnant at the time of her "before" photo shoot. MuscleTech and Iovate eventually settled out of court for $100,000.
Hydroxycut FDA Action and Recall
Part of the 2003 lawsuit made mention of potential risks connected to Hydroxycut due to its use of ephedra as one of the ingredients. The FDA took up the cause in 2009 and warned U.S. consumers to stop using the products.
The FDA warning was based on reports of at least 23 cases of health related problems and one death among Hydroxycut users. A limited recall was launched for some of the MuscleTech supplements.
Adding weight to the FDA action was a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology which suggested the strong possibility of liver damage from extended use of Hydroxycut. And although MuscleTech and Iovate did have some defenders in the industry, even they questioned why the companies refused to release the clinical data they claimed to have. To their credit, the Hydroxycut clearly states on all product labels that their supplements should not be taken without first consulting a doctor.
The last piece in the Hydroxycut safety puzzle is the potential these supplements have in causing neuropsychological damage such as memory loss, cognitive impairment, irritability, mood swings, psychotic episodes, and depression.
Hydroxycut's main ingredients are ephedra, alkaloids, aspirin, and caffeine; they have not been documented in terms of safety when the four are combined. Some have suggested that this combination is responsible for the neuropsychological issues.
Despite the concerns and litigation, Hydroxycut products continue to be sold around the world. Whether or not the FDA has sufficient evidence of safety issues to force production to cease is unclear.
Regardless, there are enough experts on both sides to justify their cases and keep the argument alive. Independent studies are ongoing as well.
Consumers can freely purchase Hydroxycut products on any one of the company's many websites, or dozens of online retailers. The supplements are also sold around the U.S. at pharmacies, department stores, health food and nutritional stores, and gyms. Pricing is comparable to other similar weight-loss products.
Any time a nutritional supplement company faces litigation or FDA action, consumers should seriously consider whether or not to use their products. Of special concern is the use of ephedra alkaloids as an ingredient, despite the fact that ephedra itself was banned in the U.S. some years ago.
Where athletes are concerned, the international Olympic Committee is just one sanctioning organization working to get the main ingredients of Hydroxycut products included on their list of banned substances. They fear the potential of both liver problems and neuropsychological damage in athletes using the substances.
From the standpoint of the average, every-day consumer there seems to be far too many questions about Hydroxycut to make it worth using as a regular diet supplement. There are so many other alternatives whose safety has been documented, that to take a risk with supplements that appear to be potentially unsafe seems foolish.
All that said, it can't be argued that Hydroxycut does continue to be one of the best selling nutritional supplement brands in the world. With millions of users across the globe the company stands to make hefty profits for years to come.
If you choose to take Hydroxycut supplements, this reviewer would simply suggest you exercise caution. To locate supplements that compare favorably to Hydroxycut products, use the supplement finder now!