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Posted August 14, 2023

Liver Injury Linked to "Immune Booster" Supplement Sold on Amazon

A 27-year-old woman in Pennsylvania was admitted to intensive care for drug-induced liver injury after taking Prodigy Life HRP-AID, a supplement sold on Amazon and promoted as an "immune system booster" to reduce the intensity and frequency of cold sore outbreaks, according to a report published in The Medicine Forum.

The woman had been taking the suggested daily serving of two tablets of HRP-AID for one month when she developed abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, generalized, weakness, and jaundice and sought medical treatment. Tests revealed she had elevated levels of liver enzymes and bilirubin, and acute liver inflammation. Although she had a history of chronic, low-grade hepatitis B, her viral load was very low, and her physicians attributed her condition to use of the supplement after ruling out this and other potential causes.

Prodigy Life HRP-AID contains ascorbic acid (200 mg), cholecalciferol (20 mcg), alpha-tocopherol (20 mg), pyridoxine HCl (10 mg), methylcobalamin (50 mcg), zinc citrate (25 mg), selenium (70 mcg), L-lysine (250 mg), astragalus extract (Astragalus membranaceus root) (50 mg), echinacea (Echinacea purpurea root) (50 mg), garlic powder (Allium salivum bulb) (50 mg), natural caffeine (Coffee arabica bean) (50 mg), olive leaf extract (50 mg, standardized to oleuropein 20% (Olea Europaea), oregano powder (Thymus captatus leaf) (50 mg), elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra) (50 mg ), and Red Panax ginseng extract (Panax ginseng root) (50 mg). This is the first published report of liver injury associated with use of HRP-AID.

The woman was treated and released from the hospital, although she required further treatment for continued nausea and jaundice one month after stopping supplementation, which eventually resolved.

For information about L-lysine supplementation for cold sores ConsumerLab's Lysine Supplements Review.

Also see CL's answers to the questions:

Is there a risk of liver toxicity with certain supplements?

Can lysine, vitamin B-12, or other vitamins or minerals help prevent or reduce canker sores?

For more information, use the link below.

Helpful or Harmful? A Case Report of Nutritional Supplements Causing Drug-Induced Liver Injury