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World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Dec 7;22(45):10071-10076. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i45.10071.

Dangerous dietary supplements: Garcinia cambogia-associated hepatic failure requiring transplantation.

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Keri E Lunsford, Adam S Bodzin, Diego C Reino, Ronald W Busuttil, The Pfleger Liver Institute, The Dumont-UCLA Liver Transplant Center, Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States.


Commercial dietary supplements are marketed as a panacea for the morbidly obese seeking sustainable weight-loss. Unfortunately, many claims cited by supplements are unsupported and inadequately regulated. Most concerning, however, are the associated harmful side effects, often unrecognized by consumers. Garcinia cambogia extract and Garcinia cambogia containing products are some of the most popular dietary supplements currently marketed for weight loss. Here, we report the first known case of fulminant hepatic failure associated with this dietary supplement. One active ingredient in this supplement is hydroxycitric acid, an active ingredient also found in weight-loss supplements banned by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 for hepatotoxicity. Heightened awareness of the dangers of dietary supplements such as Garcinia cambogia is imperative to prevent hepatoxicity and potential fulminant hepatic failure in additional patients.


Dietary supplements; Drug-induced liver injury; Fulminant hepatic failure; Hyroxycitric acid; Liver transplantation; Weight-loss supplements

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