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July 20, 2011

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Heart attack diet products banned

SIXTEEN dieting products linked to heart attacks and strokes were yesterday banned by the local food and drug watchdog.

The items, mostly capsules and coffee, were found to contain banned ingredients that could cause health problems, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said.

Products - including Qiaomei Diet Capsules, Super Diet Coffee and Tiantianxue Constipation Relieving Capsules - were banned for containing the chemicals sibutramine and phenolphthalein, said the administration.

Under Chinese law, these can only be given under medical guidance.

Although these chemicals can help with weight reduction, they are likely to cause side effects which may be life-threatening under extreme circumstances, said officials.

Sibutramine is likely to increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks, while phenolphthalein may cause raised blood sugar levels.

Following bans in the United States, Canada and the European Union of products containing sibutramine, China took the same action last year.


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