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Weight loss supplement recalled in wake of 56 hepatitis cases

Ohio consumers who use weight loss supplements should take note of a recent recall. A dietary supplement used for weight loss has been linked recently to 56 serious hepatitis cases and one death. A 48-year-old woman died in Hawaii on Oct. 9 within weeks of taking the product. The supplement is believed to be the cause of the disease in 44 patients connected to the outbreak in Hawaii, as well as additional patients in 12 other states just since October.

The company that manufactures the supplements started recalling specific batches of their product on Nov. 10. The recall includes OxyElite Pro Super Thermo capsules and OxyElite Pro Ultra-Intense Thermo capsules in various sizes, as well as OxyElite Pro Super Thermo Powder in a variety of flavors. Prior to the recall, they had ceased shipping those particular supplements. The threat of legal action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prompted both measures.

Since the majority of the cases are in Hawaii, the Hawaii State Department of Health is at the forefront of the investigation. Possible cases of hepatitis on the mainland, which may not be connected to the outbreak, have health officials there concerned. According to a Hawaii state epidemiologist, the outbreak could be caused by a production error, a contaminant or one of the ingredients in the product.

Although the cases have only occurred in Hawaii, Cleveland residents could possibly be affected, too. Anyone who has contracted a serious illness like hepatitis, or suffered the loss of a loved one, due to exposure to hazardous materials in a supplement or other product, could have the basis for a product liability case.

Source: Food Safety News, "OxyElite Pro Recalled as More Hepatitis A Cases Surface", James Andrews, November 12, 2013

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