Health officials are warning about a purported weight loss product that could be fatal.
The Food and Drug Administration announced that Todorganic Inc. is recalling products labeled as Nuez de la India (also known as candlenut) seeds because they appear to actually be highly toxic Thevetia peruviana, also known as yellow oleander seeds.
"All parts of the yellow oleander plant are known to contain cardiac glycosides that are highly toxic to humans and animals," the FDA says.
For those who survive contact with yellow oleander, the FDA says they could still face adverse health effects including neurological disorders, as well as gastrointestinal or heart problems.
People who have ingested the seeds should watch for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cardiac changes.
The recalled product comes in a 2-ounce white and green bag with 12 seeds. They were sold sold online through Amazon, Walmart and eBay.
The FDA says no illnesses linked to the recalled product have been reported.
While the products by Todorganic Inc. are being voluntarily recalled, the FDA is also warning people to stop using other Nuez de la India products that have not been recalled yet.
They are marketed as “botanical food,” “India Nuts for Weight Loss,” “slimming seeds,” “India seeds for weight loss,” or “diet seeds.” The supplements also appear to be yellow oleander seeds, the FDA says.
Nuez de la India (or candlenut) seeds have a similar appearance to yellow oleander seeds but are larger.
The Maryland Department of Health says a person was hospitalized after taking Nut Diet Max brand Nuez de la India seeds.
People who have the seeds are advised to discard them and contact their doctor, even if they aren't having symptoms.
The FDA says Nuez de la India is understood to be from the flowering tree Aleurites moluccanus, which grows in tropical climates. Researchers say it's used in some cultures to treat various ailments and was more recently billed as a weight loss supplement despite there being no known published studies to support its benefits.
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