Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Monday that a woman, in her 50s, suffered from severe heart failure after consuming weight loss product that contained an undisclosed banned substance.
As per HSA, the weight loss supplement, known as BB Body, is one of the four products which can cause serious side effects. The authority warned the members of the public not to purchase or consume this particular item.
In a news release, HSA also named similar products such as Bello Smaze and Choco Fit as well as Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan which contains a protein steroid. They also stated that these products were tested by the HSA authority "to contain undeclared potent medicinal ingredients, including a banned substance for weight loss and a potent steroid."
In this case, the woman bought BB Body from an online seller, based in Malaysia, after she came across an advertisement on Instagram. The unnamed woman consumed the medicine for three months and developed an extremely abnormal heart rate, also known as ventricular tachycardia. HSA stated that the faster heart rate led to a loss of consciousness and eventually a resuscitation was required to save her life.
HSA mentioned that due to the consumption of the supplement the woman suffered from severe heart failure. She is also implanted with a defibrillator which will help to regulate her heart rate. As per the HSA, from now onwards she will need long-term heart failure medication.
There are several people who suffered from serious health issues after the consumption of such medicines. One of them was a woman in her 20s, who developed palpitations and insomnia as well as suicidal thoughts after having Bello Smaze for four days.
Another woman in her 30s also experienced similar issues, mostly palpitation after consuming Choco Fit, which contains a protein steroid, for two days.
HSA mentioned that the adverse reactions experienced by these people were consistent with the effects of sibutramine, which was found in the three weight loss products. As per the authority, the "sibutramine was previously a prescription drug but was banned by HSA in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as other serious adverse effects."
There is no doubt that almost everything is available on e-commerce platforms, mostly on Facebook and Instagram. Many substances were sold claiming no side effects, and promising that these products can make people fit and slim within a few days.
However, HSA has directed the administrators of the local online platforms to remove such advertisements from the sites.
The authority also advised people to be careful about their own health before consuming any substance which claims that it would help to reduce the weight in a few weeks. The consumers should not buy such substance from unfamiliar sources overseas, said HSA.
It should be noted that HSA has issued warning against the suppliers and sellers of BB Body, Bellow Smaze, Choco Fit and Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan. They also mentioned that if anyone is found guilty of supplying illegal health substance, the convicts will face a jail term of up to three years and/or a fine of up to S$100,000.