Hepatic Injury in 12 Patients Taking the Herbal Weight Loss Aids Chaso or Onshido

Masayuki Adachi, Hidetsugu Saito, Hisashi Kobayashi, Yoshinori Horie, Shinzo Kato, Masahiro Yoshioka, Hiromasa Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Chinese herbal dietary supplements Chaso and Onshido are marketed for weight loss in Japan. The safety of these weight loss aids is unknown. Objective: To describe patients who developed liver injury while taking Chaso or Onshido. Design: Case series. Setting: Keio University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, and other hospitals in Japan. Patients: 6 patients who took Chaso and 6 patients who took Onshido before presenting with liver injury. Measurements: Pathologic, clinical, and laboratory evaluations and chemical analysis of the herbal weight loss aids. Results: All 12 patients developed acute liver injury characterized by a marked increase in serum liver chemistry values (mean alanine aminotransferase level, 1978 U/L [range, 283 to 4074 U/L]) after ingesting these products. Two patients developed fulminant hepatic failure: 1 patient required liver transplantation, and the other patient died. N-nitroso-fenfluramine, a variant of the appetite-depressant drug fenfluramine, was present in these products. Conclusions: The use of the weight loss aids Chaso and Onshido may be associated with acute liver injury. N-nitroso-fenfluramine is a possible hepatotoxic ingredient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-492+I47
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sept 16
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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