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For the third time in five years, the FDA has issued a warning to consumers about Dream Body Weight Loss products. The over-the-counter diet pills, marketed under the names Dream Body 450mg, Dream Body Extreme Gold 800mg, and Dream Body Advanced 400mg, were found to contain an unlisted drug which is potentially fatal [3]. Dream Body is not alone. Despite FDA recalls, controlled substances continue to return to market in unlabeled forms every month.

Three Strikes, You’re Out?

Dream Body products were first tested and exposed for containing sibutramine by the FDA in October of 2011 [1]. At that time, the pills were listed under the name “Dream Body” and produced by Chinese-based Beijing HuaDa Industry & Trade Co. Ltd. In 2014, the FDA issued a statement after they identified sibutramine in the same product and packaging for sale through web retailers [2]. Then last week, the FDA released a statement supporting a voluntary recall of the same product, now produced by Texas-based Dream Body Weight Loss [3]. As of press time, Dream Body’s website and social media accounts have been deleted, but the problem of tainted products continues.

Banned Drugs Are Still Prevalent in Over-the-Counter Diet Pills

Sibutramine is an anorexiant (an appetite suppressant similar to an amphetamine) and is listed as a schedule IV controlled substance in the USA. In 2008, the FDA began targeting manufacturers of diet pills who illegally taint their products with sibutramine and other dangerous substances to increase efficacy [4]. The notorious Meridia pill, for example, was withdrawn from markets at this time [7]. By 2010, sibutramine was officially pulled from the U.S. and European markets amid safety concerns of sudden death, heart failure, renal (kidney) failure, and severe gastrointestinal impairments [5]. Despite these actions though, anorexiants and similar drugs continue to be discovered unlabeled in US-sold diet pills, with at least twelve identified by the FDA this year [6].

The FDA Has Its Limits

With FDA regulation of supplements limited to post-market surveillance, it’s no wonder that Dream Body was able to get sibutramine-spiked products to retail at least three times in the last five years. With the massive number of new dietary supplements hitting the market each month, it’s not possible to locate and test each one before consumers are exposed to them. On its website, the FDA posted this very honest statement regarding their abilities [6]:

“Remember, FDA cannot test all products on the market that contain potentially harmful hidden ingredients. Enforcement actions and consumer advisories for tainted products only cover a small fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market. ”

Diet Healthy and Do Your Research

When considering a diet, remember that health is much more than a thin waist. A sustainable diet and exercise routine will get you into shape that can last a lifetime. If you do choose to add a supplement to your regimen, be sure to check a reputable, unbiased testing source like Labdoor before making your purchase.

Related article: What Happened to Meridia?

Sources

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Public Notification: "Dream Body Slimming Capsule" Contains Undeclared Drug Ingredient. (2011). [source link]
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2014). Public Notification: Dream Body Slimming Capsule Contains Hidden Drug Ingredient. [source link]
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016). Dream Body Weight Loss Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Dream Body 450mg, Dream Body Extreme Gold 800mg, Dream Body Advanced 400mg Due to Undeclared Sibutramine. [source link]
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2009). 2009 News and Alerts. [source link]
  5. Pollack, A. (2010). Abbott Labs Withdraws Meridia From the Market. The New York Times. [source link]
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016). Tainted Weight Loss Products. [source link]
  7. Thanedar, N. (2014). What Happened to Meridia?. Labdoor Magazine. [source link]
  8. Co-author: Benita Lee
     

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