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Side Effects of Herbalife Supplements

written by: Regina Woodard • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/26/2011

In this day and age of high obesity, many people trying to lose weight will quickly turn to those 'miracle cures' or supplement meals in order to try and bring their weight down. In this article, learn about taking Herbalife, as well as the Herbalife side effects.

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    Recent studies have shown that obesity and those at risk for it have grown over the years, a troubling trend that has both nutritionists and parents concerned. While obesity is still on the rise, there are of course those that suffer from it or hope to avoid it by getting their eating and dietary habits under control by eating better and exercising.

    For those who are of course at the brink of trying to lose weight, the advertisements for weight loss supplements, so called miracle cures, or other drugs that claim to help someone lose weight in the matter of weeks, days, or even hours can sometimes be more detrimental rather than beneficial.

    Herbalife is one such supplement. Created in the 1980s by Mark Hughes, Herbalife claimed to be a cure-all - a program in which you can not only lose weight, but you'll be healthier and living a better life. While perhaps the concept behind the product were genuine, since it's initial marketing campaign in 1985, there have been a string of different issues surrounding the product itself.

    In this article, learn about what Herbalife is, some of the Herbalife side effects, and what these side effects mean for you as a potential or current user.

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    What is Herbalife?

    As mentioned earlier, Herbalife has been around since the 1980s, featuring 62 different varieties of herb and botanical based weight Side Effects of Herbalife Supplements management products, as well as food and dietary supplements, dieting management, and personal care products. The company's products are sometimes listed under different names, however they are manufactured and produced by the Herbalife company.

    The basic plan derived for Herbalife is to limit yourself to just one meal per day, while taking the recommended powders or dietary pills to supplement the other two meals that are not being eaten. The plan even goes so far as to require up to twenty pills be taken during the day, depending on the individual and the type of plan that is chosen.

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    Herbalife Side Effects

    For anyone that is considering using Herbalife, there are of course side effects that you should be aware of. The most basic are those for people who might have allergic reactions, however there have also been allegations of ingredients that might cause problems that can be more tragic than the everyday allergic reactions.


    Anyone who is considering taking this product should be aware that some of the product line contains protein, soy, or shellfish. There are many different types of people who have allergies due to one or more of these, which can range anywhere from a breakout or rash or even serious conditions, such as swelling in the mouth or throat. For those who are allergic to any of the above, they should not only check the label, but also consult with their doctor if there is a way to either take the supplement or an alternative.


    Caffeine of course is found in a lot of beverages, notably sodas, energy drinks, and of course, coffee. Some of the products within the Herbalife line does include caffeine and while the dosage is less than of a cup of coffee, you should still consider this when deciding on taking Herbalife. There is of course those who may be allergic to caffeine or even addicted to it. Caffeine of course can cause headaches, nervousness and high blood pressure.


    When Herbalife first started, some of its products - as well as some other products at the time - contained a drug called ephera, also known as ma hung. In 2004, the US Federal Drug Administration linked the drug to that of primary pulmonary hypertension and ordered the discontinuation of its usage, finding that however, it may still take years for the side effect of the drug to show up in the standard tests.

    Among these Herbalife side effects, many users have stated that they have also suffered from diarrhea, nausea, constipation and headaches.

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    While these Herbalife side effects might scare you off from using its products, anyone who is interested in using any type of dietary supplement should always check the label, as well as seeing their doctor to be sure that the product is alright for them to use.