Sometimes, the biggest loser is the biggest winner.
That’s what the hit reality weight-losing show, The Biggest Loser, was predicated upon.
In a nutshell, the show featured obese and/or overweight contestants competing against each other to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight relative to their initial weigh-in.
But losing your heart function and perhaps will to live, not quite a goody thing, isn’t it?
And that was just what happened to two women in Singapore.
BB Body, Bello Blaze, Choco Fit And Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan
To begin with, those weren’t just arbitrary words thrown together and dreamed up in my semi-lucid Monday state.
As CNA reported, four products, BB Body, Bello Blaze, Choco Fit and the certainly nefarious sounding, Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan, have caused “severe adverse reactions” in consumers.
The public is advised not to purchase or consume the products, according to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (Jun 3).
These products, according to a statement released by HSA, were found to have contained “undeclared potent medicinal ingredients, including a banned substance for weight loss and a potent steroid”.
In my book, any sentence containing “potent” twice, “undeclared” and “banned” reeks of trouble.
And that’s exactly what two women got after consuming BB Body and Bello Blaze.
BB Body and Severe Heart Failure
In the first case, a woman in her 50s now suffers from severe heart failure after purchasing and consuming BB Body from an online seller based in Malaysia.
She had first come across the product on Instagram.
After three months of usage, the woman developed an extremely fast heart rate, also known as ventricular tachycardia, which ultimately led to a loss of consciousness that required emergency resuscitation to save her life.
The woman has since had a defibrillator implanted to regulate her heart rate and now requires long-term heart failure medication.
Bella Smaze and Suicidal Thoughts
In another case, a woman in her 20s developed heart palpitations, insomnia and developed suicidal thoughts after taking the product for four days.
Her friend, who had recommended the product to her, similarly suffered from palpitations and insomnia.
Sibutramine, a substance banned in 2010
According to the HSA, the adverse reactions experienced by these consumers were “consistent with the effects from sibutramine”, a previously-available prescription drug.
Sibutramine was found in 3 of the products, save Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan, and was actually banned in 2010 “due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as other serious adverse effects”.
HSA said that it has instructed the administrators of the local online platforms to take down the affected product listings.
It was also reported that a woman in her 30s experienced palpitations after consuming Choco Fit for two days.
Potent Steroid In Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan
In another case, a man in his 40s suffered from Cushing’s syndrome after consuming Seahorse Chop Du Zhong Ba Ji Wan for more than two months in hope of relieving his arthritis.
As a result of the syndrome, the man experienced easy bruising, thin limbs, thinning of the skin and what is known as “moon” face, in which the face develops a rounded appearance due to fat deposit.
Tests by HSA concluded that the product contained dexamethasone, a potent steroid, and also chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine for allergic reactions.
So folks, if you know of anyone taking dubious-sounding products promising quick weight-loss, do check in on them.
If you *ahem* know anyone selling such products, do kindly inform them that those found guilty of supplying illegal health products will face up to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to S$100,000.
So stay on the safe side folks.
If you want to lose weight, consider, well, taking note of your diet or simply embarking on an exercise routine.
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