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Diet Supplement with Narcotic Effects is Seized by U.S. Marshals

Tim Boyer's picture
RelaKzpro supplement seized by law enforcement officers

Did you know that some diet supplements for weight loss are being adulterated with ingredients from Asia that have narcotic effects? Here is a recent report about one dietary supplement available in the U.S. that was seized by U.S. Marshals this month.


According to a press release from the FDA, U.S. Marshals seized nearly 90,000 bottles of dietary supplements labeled as containing kratom at the request of the FDA due to that kratom poses a health risk from its stimulant and narcotic-like properties.

The supplements seized, manufactured for and held by Dordoniz Natural Products LLC, located in South Beloit, Illinois, were marketed under the brand name “RelaKzpro.”

“We have identified kratom as a botanical substance that could pose a risk to public health and have the potential for abuse,” said Melinda Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will continue to exercise our full authority under law to take action on these new dietary ingredients, especially if they ignore the notification requirements, as part of our commitment to protecting the health of the American people.”

The scientific name for kratom is Mitragyna speciosa―a botanical plant that grows in much of Southeast Asia in the regions of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Traditionally, it was used as an anti-diarrheal medicine and painkiller, but has since become a sought-after recreational drug due to its stimulant effects at low doses and narcotic effects at higher doses, as well as the fact that it is legal in some countries and may aid weight loss.

Kratom is available in powdered capsule form, but can be purchased as a whole leaf for smoking or brewing as a tea. Reportedly, whether you experience a stimulant effect or a more narcotic-like effect depends on how much is ingested and your genetic susceptibility to its chemical components. Users of kratom describe it as having a quick onset that can last for hours.

While the safety of taking kratom remains unestablished scientifically, it is known that taking kratom can lead to addition that is likened to heroin abuse.

Undesirable effects of kratom:

1. Edginess, nervousness
2. Vomiting (can be severe and prolonged)
3. Nausea (can be severe and prolonged)
4. Sweating
5. Itching
6. Constipation
7. Delusions
8. Lethargy
9. Respiratory depression
10. Tremors
11. Aggressive or combative behavior
12. Psychotic episodes
13. Hallucinations
14. Paranoia

Addiction effects may include:

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1. Loss of sexual desire
2. Loss of weight
3. Darkening of skin on face
4. Constant cravings that drive one to use more of the drug
5. Withdrawal effects that are very similar to those of opiates like heroin

Kratom is largely legal in the U.S. but apparently under the provision that it is in its unadulterated form such as a whole leaf without any additives. The seizure by the U.S. Marshals is legally backed by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), as amended by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). According to the FDA, under the Act’s administrative detention authority, the FDA can detain a food or dietary supplement product if the agency has reason to believe the product is adulterated or misbranded. And since the “RelaKzpro” supplement has not been tested for safety by government labs, it could be adulterated with other unknown chemicals/ingredients that could potentially make the kratom-containing supplement hazardous to health.

The FDA is warning consumers not to use any products labeled as containing kratom. Health care professionals and consumers should report any adverse events related to products containing kratom to the FDA’s MedWatch program by:

• Completing and submitting the report online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm; or

• Downloading the form, completing it and then faxing it to 1-800-FDA-0178 FREE.

For more about supplements that may pose a risk to your health, here are a few selected recalls of late:

FDA Updates Previously Recalled Weight Loss Supplement

FDA Releases Latest Nationwide Recall Alert of Diet Pill

FDA Posts Aspirin-Related Weight Loss Supplement Recall

Reference: FDA.gov press release― “US Marshals seize dietary supplements containing kratom