Hydroxycut is a brand of dietary supplements that is marketed as a weight loss aid. Hydroxycut was originally developed and manufactured by MuscleTech Research and Development; MuscleTech was sold to Iovate Health Sciences in 2003–2004 and declared bankruptcy in 2005; Iovate continues to use MuscleTech as a brand to market Hydroxycut.
Since 2013, the primary ingredients in the product line include caffeine, lady’s mantle extract (Alchemilla vulgaris), wild olive extract (Olea europaea), cumin extract (Cuminum cyminum), wild mint extract (Mentha longifolia), and, in some products, green coffee bean extract (Coffea canephora).
Before the 2004 reformulation, formulations contained ephedra, a supplement banned by the FDA in 2004. Before the 2009 reformulation, formulations contained several substances with potential to harm the liver. After a series of reports in the medical literature of serious liver problems, including one death, the FDA warned consumers to stop using Hydroxycut, and Iovate agreed to voluntarily recall the products.
The harm caused by Hydroxycut products has led to calls for stricter regulation of the dietary supplement industry and to calls within the industry for more rigorous safety testing.