Although marketed on the Internet as "natural," the popular weight loss supplements known as Brazilian diet pills contain potentially addictive ingredients, researchers say.
In the April 5 online edition of the American Journal on Addictions, Dr. Pieter Cohen, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and colleague Benjamin Smith, tell the story of a 29-year-old who needed psychiatric care to kick her addiction to Brazilian diet pills.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers in 2006 of dangers associated with the diet pills, they remain popular and easy to order online.
"What we have seen and what the FDA has found is that, unfortunately, there are dozens of products that are sold as dietary supplements that are contaminated with pharmaceutical compounds," said lead researcher Cohen.
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