Kochi: The craze for slimming takes ugly turn in the state with drugs claiming quick cut in weight being sold widely.
Drugs with often fatal side-effects leading to liver diseases are available in the form of protein powder and drinks.
These products, generalized as herbal and dietary supplements, by multi-national companies are sold through nutrition clubs and body building gyms across the state. They do not require any particular license.
Slimming drugs in the form of pills, drinks, and powder were seized in Kottakal and Kasaragod recently.
In one incident months ago, doctors confirmed that a 24-year-old woman died after seeking treatment at a hospital in Kochi for liver disease had used these drugs.
Thanks to the fad for chiseled physique, these drugs are being sold for a hefty price; youths are the main customers.
Even the short-term consumption of one of these spurious drugs could lead to fatal side effects. The woman who died in Kochi had used the drugs only for two months.
The metal particles used in them adversely affect liver, heart and nervous system, says Dr. Abi Philip from Ernakulum Medical Centre.
The drugs, produced with no study on side-effects and clinical tests, would be available without prescription at nutrition clubs.
They often contain industrial chemicals including butyrolactone, barium, cadmium, and germs that could cause diseases.