Acute Hepatitis Associated with “Thermogenic Fat Burner” Weight Loss Supplementation: A Case Report

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Marko Popovic
Maxime Billick
Matthew R. Robinson

Keywords

weight loss, medication side effect, hepatitis

Abstract

Thermogenic fat burner treatments are used to increase an individual’s basal metabolic rate, thus mimicking exercise and inducing weight loss. In rare circumstances, these supplements are associated with hepatotoxicity. We describe the case of a 21-year-old male who presented with painless jaundice and a weight loss of 25% of body weight following 8 weeks of thermogenic fat burner supplementation. Laboratory investigations revealed a severe transaminase and bilirubin elevation (AST/ALT>2000 IU/L, total bilirubin=148 μmol/L). An otherwise extensive workup, including a liver biopsy, did not identify a precise cause. Two weeks after discharge, his condition stabilized with a significant improvement in his laboratory abnormalities. In this report, we discuss the likely ingredients that contributed to the patient’s condition, including Garcinia cambogia and green tea leaf extract, and review similar cases documented in the literature. 

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