FDA Warns Some Tejocote Root Weight Loss Products Contain Poisonous Yellow Oleander
Federal regulators are warning about serious health risks linked to certain weight loss dietary supplements, which are marketed as Tejocote root, but may actually be made from yellow oleander, a poisonous plant that can cause severe or even fatal poisoning.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the Tejocote warning on January 26, indicating agency investigators found multiple versions of the weight loss products that contain yellow oleander.
Officials warn that the use of contaminated products may result in serious and life-threatening injuries, including neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular events. Yellow oleander is a poisonous plant native to Mexico and Central America, known among public health officials as a concerning toxic substance.
Yellow Oleander Risks
Ingestion of the yellow oleander can cause adverse health effects that might be severe or fatal, according to the FDA. Symptoms of yellow oleander poisoning from Tejocote root may result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cardiac changes, and dysrhythmia.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a similar warning about the risks of dietary supplements containing yellow oleander in September 2023 after a 23-month-old child consumed one of the Tejocote products and suffered nausea and vomiting.
However, after a few hours, the child began to experience age-specific bradycardia and hypotension. An electrocardiogram (ECG) was ordered, which showed a number of heart problems. The ECG results returned to normal after two doses of a digoxin overdose antidote were administered for cardenolide toxicity.
Tejocote Root Poisoning
Federal health officials began investigating Tejocote products in September 2022 after discovering the presence of yellow oleander. At the time of the initial warning, it was discovered that the products did not mention they contained yellow oleander on the labels.
This latest warning was issued for 18 of the online products including; nwl NUTRA Mexican Tejocote Root, EVA NUTRITION Mexican Tejocote Root, ELV King All Natural, Tejocote Root, ELV King Tejocote Root Raiz de Tejocote, Tejocote Root Dietary Supplement Pieces, Science of Alpha Mexican Tejocote Root, Tejo Root Raiz de Tejocote, Brazil Seed, Alipotec Tejocote Root, and Raiz de Tejocote.
The supplements were sold nationwide through numerous third party online platforms, including Amazon.com, Global Mix, Inc., Sunset Sales, Alipotec Raiz de Tejocote, Natural Supplements, LLC, H and Natural, Backstage CTC Seller, Innovation Natural, LLC, Pastor-Villareal, Inc., and Alipotec South TX World Green Nutrition, Inc.
The FDA’s investigation is continuing, and the agency is collaborating with third-party platforms where the products were sold, which could lead to more products being added to the warning.
If they have the affected products, consumers are advised to stop using them and dispose of the products immediately. The FDA calls for consumers to inform their healthcare provider even if they have, but have not used, the supplements, so that a proper evaluation can be conducted.
Healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers are encouraged to report complaints, cases of exposure, and adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. Or, call their state Poison Control Center.
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