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Man given two weeks to live after taking popular weight-loss product purchased online
A Western Australian man has told how he lost his liver after taking popular weight-loss products widely available in protein powders and supplements.
Matthew Whitby was two weeks from death and needed an emergency liver transplant after taking a protein powder containing green tea extract and a supplement with garcinia cambogia — a tropical fruit used in weight-loss supplements.
Green tea extract is a concentrated form of the popular tea and is favoured for its purported weight loss properties and anti-oxidant effects.
But in some susceptible individuals, doctors say it can cause liver failure even in moderate doses, and has been reportedly linked to dozens of cases of liver failure around the world.
There have also been cases of liver damage linked to garcinia cambogia.
Mr Whitby was so close to death after taking a protein powder and supplement containing the extract that he had to accept a donated liver with Hepatitis B.
The young father will have to take a raft of medications for the rest of his life and has spoken out to warn others.
"I didn't think something you could buy online or just over the counter did the damage that it did to me,'' he said.
"They didn't say anything about 'could cause liver failure'."
Taxpayers will have to foot the estimated $150,000 bill for Mr Whitby's liver transplant, yet Australian products containing green tea extract typically contain no warnings.
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