HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii News Now has learned that the number of cases of acute hepatitis linked to a weight loss supplement has tripled in the last week.
Officials with the State Department of Health say more cases were reported by concerned medical professionals after an alert went out statewide and nationwide last week.
There were 7 original cases but HNN sources say that number has gone up significantly since the weekend. They range from acute hepatitis to complete liver failure. At least one patient has already had a transplant, several more are on the list for a transplant and many more are being evaluated.
What's so shocking to the medical community is how quickly the patients' health declined. According to the State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, they were all healthy, adults who were trying to lose weight or gain muscle.
And so far, all the cases reported are in the state of Hawaii.
The investigation focuses on an ingredient found in the diet supplement. Sources say the Oxy Elite Pro is one of the products being looked at by the department, the FDA, and CDC.
The state, FDA and CDC are all investigating.