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DIET PILL CAUTION ISSUED; GIRL'S DEATH SPURS WARNING BY STATE.

Byline: Associated Press

Prompted by the death of a 15-year-old Fillmore girl, state poison control officials have issued a warning about some products that promise weight loss or enhanced athletic performance.

Rosanna Porras collapsed at a soccer practice last month and died in a Santa Barbara hospital three days later. She had been taking an herbal supplement called Ripped Fuel, which is available in supermarkets and health food stores.

The warning issued Wednesday did not specify any products. The company that manufactures Ripped Fuel, Twinlab Inc. of Hauppauge, N.Y., has denied their product contributed to Porras' death.

The active ingredients in Ripped Fuel and similar products include forms of ephedrine, a stimulant often found in greater quantities in over-the-counter cold and allergy medications.

``The whole boom in nutritional supplements concerns us a great deal,'' said Dr. Kent Olson, medical director of the California Poison Control System's San Francisco division. ``Many of these products have pharmacologically active ingredients that, when taken in excess, can cause really serious side effects.''

The system's warning is ``one step forward,'' said Rosanna Porras' father, Henry. ``I hope the word is disseminated down to the school levels. It really needs to be getting down to the athletic coaches.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 30, 1998
Words:203
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