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Posted September 14, 2023

Toxic Herb Found In Weight Supplements

On September 8, 2023, the FDA warned consumers that Nut Diet Max and Todorganic Natural Products brand supplements and seed products labeled as containing "Nuez de la India" (Aleurites moluccana) seeds actually contain yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana).

Yellow oleander can cause severe adverse health effects and potentially be fatal. It contains cardiac glycosides that are highly toxic to both humans and animals. Yellow oleander can cause neurologic, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dizziness, changes in heart rhythm, and other adverse effects. One person in the state of Maryland is known to have been hospitalized after consuming Nut Diet Max Nuez de la India seeds.

Nut Diet Max Nuez de la India capsules, Nut Diet Max Nuez de la India seeds, and Todorganic Natural Products Nuez de la India seeds were tested and determined by the FDA to contain yellow oleander, and have been recalled. The products were promoted for weight loss and were sold online by third-party retailers on websites such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.

Photos of the recalled products can be found on the FDA’s website, along with photos that show the difference between authentic Aleurites moluccana seeds (also called candlenut, candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, and varnish tree) and yellow oleander.

The FDA advised that anyone who has taken these products contact their healthcare provider immediately, and if experiencing serious side effects, to call 9-1-1 or get emergency medical help right away. The agency also stated that even if these products have not been used recently, consumers should inform their health care provider about which product they took, so that an appropriate evaluation may be conducted.

The CDC also recently reported that ten weight loss products purchased online and labeled as containing "tejocote root" (Crataegus mexicana) have been analyzed and found to be yellow oleander. The products are sold under brand names including Alipotec, Eva Nutrition, Science Alpha, and Niwali (see the full list of products). The tests were conducted after a child in New Jersey in September, 2022 developed nausea, vomiting, a slow heart rate, and low blood pressure requiring emergency medical treatment after consuming Eva Nutrition Mexican Tejocote Root.

For more information, use the links below.

The FDA Expands Warning to Consumers About Toxic Yellow Oleander Purported to be Nuez de la India in Certain Botanical Weight Loss Products

Online Weight Loss Supplements Labeled as Tejocote (Crataegus mexicana) Root, Substituted with Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia)