‘All-natural’ Dietary Supplement to Blame for 23-year-old Woman’s Liver Failure, Doctors Say

Emily Goss was a normal, healthy 23-year-old woman living in Amarillo, Texas, before she required a liver transplant on Christmas Day, which doctors speculate was the result of Goss’ “all-natural” dietary supplement.

For several months, Goss was taking the recommended daily dose of Balance by Alani Nu, which was four pills a day. According to its website, the supplement aids in female fertility, improving complexion, preventing estrogen decreases, improving blood sugar, and weight management.

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At the time of publication, the product has more than 8,642 reviews and a 4.9-star rating, and is still available for purchase on the manufacturer’s website. Servings are described as “veggie capsules” and the listed ingredients are:

  • Folate (as 5-Methyletrahydrofolate Calcium)
  • Chromium (as TRAACS Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate)
  • Myo-Inositol
  • Setria L-Glutathione (Reduced)
  • 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM)
  • Sodium R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
  • Hypromellose (Veggie Capsule)
  • Silica
  • Ascorbyl (Vitamin C) Palmitate

Goss continued taking the pills until sometime around Thanksgiving, at which time she began exhibiting symptoms including abdominal pain and fatigue; she also noticed the whites of her eyes were yellowing. It was then that she stopped taking the supplement.

“I don’t know how to explain. I just knew I wasn’t completely there,” she told NBC 5.

But according to doctors’ speculation, the damage may have already been done. Several weeks later, Goss was rushed to Methodist Hospital in Dallas. She was in acute liver failure and placed to the top of a liver transplant list.

“Every time we have a case of acute liver failure, it’s always an interesting case. It’s also a medical emergency,” Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Services Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein, MD, told the news outlet. He noted that acute liver failure is uncommon but is attributed to herbal or dietary supplements about 30% to 40% of the time.

A liver became available for Goss, who underwent her transplant on Christmas Day.

“I have my life because someone gave me their liver and I’m just so thankful,” Goss told NBC 5.

Goss’ doctors believe her condition was the result of the supplement.

Alani Nu, the manufacturer of the supplement Goss was taking, said in an emailed statement to NBC 5:

“We certainly wish the best for Ms. Goss. That said, it would be premature for us to respond to a suggestion that her illness was caused by a specific dietary supplement. Such a suggestion is highly speculative. During our nearly 2 years of operation, we have had no previous similar suggestions involving our customers. Safety of our customers is – by far – our number one priority. All of our products are manufactured inside a GMP-certified facility. And we partner with a licensed pharmacist in the customization of our supplements. While we take this inquiry very seriously and hope to learn more about the true cause of Ms. Goss’s condition, we stand by the safety of our products.”