Dietary Supplements Can Cause Liver Damage
More Research and Regulation Is Needed

Medical Author: Tse-Ling Fong, MD
Medical Editor: Leslie J. Schoenfield, MD, PhD
Medical Reviewing Editor: Dennis Lee, MD

Dietary supplements, which are also referred to as health supplements, include herbal products, vitamins, minerals, and any product that is not being marketed as a food or drug (medication). People take dietary supplements with the idea of maintaining or improving their health. Recently, however, my colleagues and I reported in a medical journal a series of seven patients who were referred to us with severe liver injury. They developed the liver damage after taking a health supplement called Lipokinetix® to lose weight. This supplement is a mixture of chemicals that includes an extract from a particular tea. It is said to reduce weight by working to mimic exercise and increase metabolism.