Singapore HSA puts weight loss products - Dark Roast Coffee, Milan Latte, Choco Lose - under banned list

These products were found to contain deadly ingredients in them after the HSA was alerted about their sale by consumers who experienced harmful side effects after their consumption

What if the very food we choose for the improvement of our health leads to its decline? So seems to be the case for some consumers who chose Milan Latte, Choco Lose for Fitness and Valentus Slim Roast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee for their supposed 'health benefits'.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued an advisory recently against the consumption of these three products, which were found to contain undeclared toxic ingredients, including a banned substance called sibutramine. These products were found to contain deadly ingredients after the HSA was alerted about their sale by consumers who experienced harmful side effects.

Deadly ingredients with side effects

Sibutramine, which is an appetite suppressant, was once prescribed as a medication to aid weight loss. Singapore banned it in 2010 after it was found to increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks among its users. Both, Milan Latte, and Choco Lose for Fitness tested positive for the presence of Sibutramine.

Overweight or obese
Representational picture Pixabay

HSA also found the presence of phenethylamine in Valentus Slim Roast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee. Phenethylamine is an organic compound that is naturally found in the human body and has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. It is consumed orally and is sold as a dietary supplement to promote weight loss, alleviate depression, and improve attention levels.

Often athletes consume phenethylamine to improve their performance. However, it can be addictive, and its side effects include harmful effects such as increasing heartbeat, causing liver and kidney failure, and psychiatric conditions such as hallucinations and agitation.

Sold highlighting health benefits, not side-effects

All three products were marketed to have supposed health benefits. Milan Latte was said to enable the decrease in the growth of cancer cells, aid constipation, detoxification of the intestines, and reduction in the levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins. Choco Lose for Fitness was advertised to be fast burning fat, while Valentus Slim Roast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee claimed to boost circulation and oxygen delivery, and metabolize fat to energy.

Advisory to consumers, sellers and suppliers

The HSA has advised consumers to discontinue the consumption of these products immediately and to seek treatment if they are worried about possible health concerns, or if they experience side effects. Warning against the potential risks of such products, the regulatory body has also advised consumers to be cautious of products that make exaggerated claims.

In addition to creating awareness among consumers, the HSA has also advised sellers and suppliers to cease sales of these products. Citing the illegality of selling products that contain harmful and banned substances, it stressed on the liabilities and punishments that they could face if convicted— liable to prosecution and if convicted, imprisonment for up to 2 years and/or fine up to $10,000.

This article was first published on December 13, 2019
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