Beware of slimming teas, herbal supplements: Dutch agency

Weight loss food supplements and teas of the brands Emtea, Irem Natural and Niva Detox may contain substances also present in medicines and may therefore have serious side effects, the Dutch food and product safety authority NVWA warns.

These products can be bought online from Martkplaats, among others. They come in tea and capsule form. The products are also sold door to door.

An analysis by health institute RIVM and Rikilt found that the teas and supplements contain sibutramine - a drug the European Medicines Agency took off the market in 2010. Side effects may include high heart rate, high blood pressure, nausea dizziness and anxiety.

The NVWA issued this warning after receiving a report of a young woman who died from acute heart problems. The woman bought and used such a slimming tea. The side effects center Lareb and the poison information center NVIC also received reports of people using similar products and suffering serious side effects like those mentioned above.

The NVWA strongly advises consumers not to buy or use these products.