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Administrator. Graeme
Staff member
WA man Matthew Whitby nearly died after taking two popular dietary supplements

A 27-YEAR-OLD WA man who nearly died after consuming two weight loss products has warned others about the dangers of some popular dietary supplements.

In 2014, Matthew Whitby, from Geraldton, drank a pre-workout protein shake and consumed a weight-loss supplement he purchased online from a Melbourne-based store.
Within a week, he was experiencing severe fatigue and jaundice.
The symptoms persisted two months later, so he took himself to hospital, where he was diagnosed with liver failure.
Given two weeks to live, Mr Whitby needed an emergency liver transplant. His only choice was to accept a liver with hepatitis B.
“I have to take a tablet everyday for the rest of my life, but I’m just grateful to be here,” Mr Whitby told news.com.au.

Mr Whitby in hospital.Source:Supplied

Doctors say the substance that most likely caused his condition was green tea extract, an ingredient which is approved for sale in Australia.
“I didn’t really think green tea extract could be harmful,” Mr Whitby said.
“I did a bit of research before [buying the powder]. It had good reviews and because it was Australian I felt more confident buying it.”
The other substance Mr Whitby used was a weight-loss supplement containing 70 per cent Garcinia cambogia, according to his case report, which was outlined in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit used in many weight loss supplements — the infamous television personality Dr Oz claims it is a weight loss “holy grail” —despite being linked to several cases of liver failure.

Mr Whitby with his two young children.Source:Supplied

Products like garcinia cambogia supplements are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), but others like green tea extract are harder to regulate as they are classified as a food.
Dr Jon Wardle from the University of Technology says green tea extract is fine in small doses, but consuming too much can turn the liver “into mash”. Green tea is still safe to drink in moderate amounts.
“Green tea extract is used in some body building and weight loss products because there is quite a bit of evidence out there demonstrating that it has a fat burning effect and it boosts your metabolism,” Dr Wardle told news.com.au.
“But it’s an extract, which is already a concentrated product. The dose written on the label is generally safe. If you take a big spoonful of the extract that could be like drinking 40-50 cups of green tea,” he said.

Mr Whitby has now recovered and wants to warn people about the dangers of some dietary supplements.Source:Supplied

Dr Wardle said people thinking about taking a supplement should consult a qualified health professional beforehand.
“There are lot of self-taught diet and exercise experts out there who don’t have any training. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s completely safe.”
Mr Whitby, who is married with two young children, wants to warn others against taking supplements.
“I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone,” he said.
“Do your research and ask your doctor about the product before taking it. I wouldn’t recommend shakes in general, just diet and exercise.
“Hopefully [my case] will convince people to do it the natural way. I learnt that the hard way.”



YOLO Kunce
How much GTE did he eat? Must be something like an ice cream tub's worth a day for him to need an emergency liver transplant!


Look at Moi, I'm a Kunce
Kunce that think it's a miracle cure for laziness. If I take more the fat will come off quicker. Its a 1%er supplement, fix your diet and move more

Sandin Face

Tragic for the poor bloke, but as a lesson for the rest of us, it's hard to work out what to make of it.

The MJA report, in the "Clinical Record" part, says "... 10 weeks before presentation, he had used two dietary supplements for a 1-week period. These were a whey protein powder and a weight loss supplement containing 70% Garcinia cambogia."

The MJA article does say (in its fairly chatty introduction) this: "The protein supplement ingested by the patient in this case contained many ingredients, including green tea (Camellia sinensis)extract, green coffee extract, African mango extract, guarana, whey protein, and various vitamins and minerals."

I had to read the article a few times, and look up lots of other things, before I worked out that "whey protein powder" wasn't just whey protein powder, but "a protein powder called HydroxyBurn Elite" (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-...er-taking-popular-weight-loss-product/7162378) (see ingredients list at https://www.australiansportsnutrition.com.au/supplements/bsc-hydroxyburn-elite.html).

The MJA article ended up blaming the green tea extract for the liver failure, based on other cases of liver problems that had also been blamed (but not conclusively) on green tea extract, although if you just read the first part of it, you would think that the Garcinia was the problem. The article also says that "... combined with his ingestion of a second supplement containing G [Garcinia] cambogia(active ingredient hydroxycitric acid), [this] prohibits definitive identification of the causative agent or agents."

So, they don't know what did it.

The phrase "idiosyncratic drug induced liver injury" also occurs in the article. Basically, what this means is that it's an apparently inexplicable one-off, blamed on something he took, and caused by the synergysitc effect of this substance, with the particular, individual, enzyme activities in his (original) liver.

So, these supps might cause no problem in other individuals. (Conversely, there may be something otherwise innocuous, that is personal kryptonite for the individual liver of ony one of us.)

The only moral I can take from the story is to MIX YOUR OWN supps, from individual ingredients, so you know what you're getting, and so you can work out what's good for you individually.


YOLO Kunce
lol @ Hydroxyburn whey powder shit with its 67% protein @ $50 per 900g price.. people just love to get ripped off!

But phew thank fux that green tea extract isn't the conclusive culprit, I was sweating bullets deciding whether to take my ep1c capsules today.