SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned against consuming three slimming drink products sold here which have been found to contain undeclared potent ingredients. Two of the drinks contain banned substances too.
These products, which are sold as powder mixes that consumers add water to, are Milan Latte, Choco Lose For Fitness, and Valentus SlimRoast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee, said HSA in a statement on Friday (Nov 29).
The authority said it was alerted to the sale of these products by members of the public who were concerned when they experienced adverse effects after consuming them.
One consumer felt breathless and experienced heart palpitations after taking Choco Lose For Fitness, while another felt giddy and nauseous after drinking Valentus SlimRoast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee.
A consumer who drank Milan Latte became suspicious when his appetite was significantly reduced.
After testing the products, HSA found that Milan Latte and Choco Lose For Fitness contain the appetite suppressant sibutramine, a substance that has been banned in Singapore since 2010.
Sibutramine used to be a prescription weight loss medicine but it was banned here because taking it increased a person's risk of getting heart attacks and strokes.
HSA said Milan Latte has been promoted as a product that can "detoxify the intestines", "aid constipation", "decrease the growth of cancer cells" and "reduce cholesterol level and low density lipoprotein".
Meanwhile, Choco Lose For Fitness was advertised to be "fast burning fats (sic)".
As for Valentus SlimRoast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee, it was found to contain phenethylamine, a potent ingredient that has a stimulating effect on the brain and can be addictive. It can cause the heart to beat rapidly, induce psychiatric conditions such as hallucination and agitation, cause liver and kidney failure, and even lead to death.
The product claimed to be able to "metabolize fat to energy" and "boost circulation and oxygen delivery".
The three products were sold on multiple e-commerce websites and on social media sites. Choco Lose For Fitness was also sold at Queens Beauty.SG, a shop on Haig Road. HSA said it has directed the shop to stop selling the product and told local website administrators to remove posts on all three products.
HSA advised consumers to stop taking the slimming drink products immediately and to see a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.
Consumers were also advised by the authority to be wary of products that make exaggerated claims such as those that say products can "decrease the growth of cancer cells" or have unexpectedly quick effects. They could potentially contain undeclared ingredients which can seriously harm consumers' health.
The authority also warned sellers and suppliers to stop selling these products immediately.
Selling and supplying such products, which contain potent medicinal ingredients or banned substances, carries a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to two years, or both.