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Woman dies after taking herbal remedy often used as diet supplement

Woman dies after taking herbal remedy often used as diet supplement

She died in December 2021

The death of Lori McClintock, wife of Californian congressman Tom McClintock, has been linked to ‘adverse effects’ caused by an item commonly used as a health supplement. 

McClintock was found unresponsive by her husband in December 2021. The day prior to the 61-year-old’s death she had complained of stomach pain, according to a coroner’s report. 

A coroner’s report stated McClintock died from dehydration due to gastroenteritis which was caused by ‘adverse effects of white mulberry leaf ingestion’. 

The report, which was written in 2020 but was only made public last month, ruled her death as ‘accidental’, Kaiser Health News reports.

Following her death, her heartbroken family released a statement saying: “Our family’s darkest day and most terrible nightmare has come. Lori is gone.

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“And with her all the light, warmth, fun, friendship and love she brought everywhere she went and to everyone she met.

“We are devastated and our world is shattered. Only those who knew her can understand the enormity of the tragedy of her passing for her family and many friends.

“Our only comfort is that her unbounded charity, goodness, and faith assures her eternal life in heaven, where she will surely watch over all who loved her and whom she loved.

"On behalf of our grieving family, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have offered so many kind “memories and tributes in condolence. We will always love her ‘more than all the stars in the sky.’”

It is unclear in what form McClintock took the supplement, but the coroner's report noted that a ‘partially intact’ white mulberry leaf was found inside her stomach after she died. 

White mulberry leaf is a common health supplement, associated with obesity, diabetes and hypertension. It is usually considered safe to consume, with Kaiser Health News saying just two cases of people being made sick by the mulberry supplement have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2004. 

Daniel Fabricant, chief executive and president of the Natural Products Association, told KHN that any connection between McClintock’s death and white mulberry leaf was ‘completely speculative’.

topdog images / Alamy Stock Photo

He said: “People unfortunately pass from dehydration every day, and there’s a lot of different reasons and a lot of different causes.”

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin has previously called for stricter controls over dietary supplements. 

Earlier this year, he told the Senate floor: “Many people assume if that product is sold in the United States of America, somebody has inspected it, and it must be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always true.”

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Featured Image Credit: Instagram / dexns / Alamy

Topics: US News, Health