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Posted January 24, 2020

Fat-Burning, Energy Supplement Linked to Heart Trouble

A 33-year-old woman in Australia developed cardiac ischemia (a lack of blood flow to the heart) after taking the "fat burning" supplement Alpha Lean-7, according to a recent report in the Journal of Sports Sciences.

She took one capsule of Alpha Lean-7 one hour before going for a run, and, 30 minutes into her run, began to experience rapid heartbeat, chest tightness, shortness of breath, trembling and feeling faint. An exam found she had elevated levels of troponin, a marker of heart muscle damage, and an EKG revealed evidence of ischemia. She was admitted to the hospital where she was treated and released after three days as her troponin levels decreased and her symptoms improved.

The woman had no history of heart disease, but did report having a sensitivity to caffeine, which is one of several stimulant ingredients found in Alpha Lean-7. Her physicians concluded that these ingredients, in combination with strenuous exercise, may have caused a rapid release of adrenaline and noradrenaline ("fight or flight" hormones), resulting in the incident.

Alpha Lean-7 (Hard Rock Supplements Inc) contains 200 mg of caffeine per capsule in addition to unlisted amounts of additional stimulant ingredients such as theophylline anhydrous, isopropylnorsynephrine, yohimbine, and green tea extract, as well as other ingredients such as L-carnitine and trimethylglycine. It is promoted on the company's website to induce thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate, diminish cravings, and improve energy, focus and mood. It is sold in the U.S. as well as Australia.

(Be aware that energy drinks, which often contain similar amounts of caffeine, as well as other stimulant ingredients, have also been associated with cardiovascular risks and experts have recommended they not be consumed before or during strenuous exercise.)

See ConsumerLab's Weight Loss Supplements Review for more information about common weight loss supplement ingredients, including clinical evidence and safety, and our tests of related products.

See related recalls and warnings:

American College of Sports Medicine Warns of Energy Drink Dangers

Adverse Effects From Energy Drinks Common Among Youth and Young Adults

Case of Hemorrhagic Stroke Linked to Redline Energy Drink

Consuming a Single Energy Drink May Increase Cardiovascular Risk

Increase in Calls to Poison Control Centers About Supplements

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