Woman, 24, died after taking overdose of raspberry ketone slimming pills - which each had the same amount of caffeine as FOUR cans of Red Bull
- Cara Reynolds, 24, suffered a heart attack after taking raspberry ketones
- Miss Reynolds, who weighed 10st, bought the Forza pills on the internet
- They are endorsed by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey
- But just weeks after taking the pills, Miss Reynolds had heart palpitations
- After a bad break-up in March 2013, she overdosed on the the tablets
- Doctors tried to resuscitate her 44 times, but dose of caffeine was fatal
A 24-year-old woman died after taking an overdose of slimming pills loaded with caffeine.
Cara Reynolds, 24, suffered a heart attack after taking Forza raspberry ketones.
Doctors who analysed the over-the-counter tablets said each contained as much caffeine as four cans of Red Bull.
The herbal slimming pills have been endorsed by celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey and claim to to be 'natural' supplements to aid weight loss.
Tragic: Cara Reynolds, 24, suffered a heart attack after taking a large amount of Forza raspberry ketones - herbal slimming pills endorsed
by celebrities including Kim Kardashian
Plight: In February, Miss Reynolds bought the raspberry ketones on the internet. Her father said: 'She was 5'4" and a size 10 - she wasn't overweight at all. These pills are targeted at vulnerable, young women who already have body image issues.' Miss Reynolds is pictured right, aged five, on her first day of school
But Miss Reynolds' father Michael, 55, is calling for the pills to be taken off the shelves in the UK.
Devastated Mr Reynolds, from Edinburgh, Scotland, says many popular retailers should ban over-the-counter sales of these pills, and others alike.
He said: 'My entire world has collapsed since I lost my Cara. Our beautiful girl paid less than £20 and bought these pills from a website.
'They are targeted at vulnerable, young women who already have body image issues.
'If the ketones had not been so readily available, Cara might still be here today. These pills need to be taken off the shelves to stop this happening again.'
A representative for Forza said: 'This is a tragic and understandably upsetting situation for her family and friends, but it could have been effected through the misuse of any supplement.
'Forza products meet vigorous health and safety standards and have clear labelling and directions for safe usage.
'It is regrettable to our client that an intentional overdose of a large number of capsules of a food supplement has potentially contributed to Miss Reynolds' suicide.
'The facts surrounding this incident are not yet wholly clear, but our client entirely rejects any implication that an inherent safety issue with its products is responsible.'
In February, Miss Reynolds, a support nurse, bought the raspberry ketones on the internet.
She told her parents she planned to take them to help her lose weight while working out at the gym.
Her father said: 'She was 5'4" and a size 10. She wasn't overweight at all.
'But we wanted to be supportive of her. She told us the slimming pills were made from natural ingredients, so we didn't think they were anything to worry about.'
Devastated: Her father Michael, said many popular retailers should ban over-the-counter sales of slimming pills such as these. He said: 'If the ketones had not been so readily available, Cara might still be here today'
After taking two pills, Miss Reynolds went to her father complaining of heart palpitations.
He said: 'She'd only taken the recommended amount of pills but was scared because her heart was going 10 to the dozen.
'That's when she said she wasn't going to take them for weight loss any more - it had really worried her.'
But a month later, on March 5, 2013, her mother saw her have a seizure and ran to her side.
Miss Reynolds admitted she had taken most of the slimming pills and was vomiting and fitting for half an hour before falling unconscious.
RASPBERRY KETONES: THE SLIMMING PILLS LOADED WITH CAFFEINE
After finding his daughter unconscious on her bedroom floor, Mr Reynolds noticed evidence of raspberry ketones and called an ambulance.
He said: 'I held my only daughter in my arms and before she became unresponsive she kept telling me she had made a mistake and that she didn't want to die.
'She'd broken up with her fiance of one year and was left devastated by the rocky relationship.
'In a moment of madness, she'd taken an overdose because she had the ketones to hand.
'It was the most heartbreaking moment of my life, and one I will never forget.'
When paramedics arrived to rush her to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, he told medics he had found the empty packaging by her body.
Despite 44 attempts to resuscitate her, Miss Reynolds died five hours later from cardiovascular collapse because of the fatal dose of caffeine she had ingested.
A case report of her death submitted to the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said the high dosage of caffeine sent her heart into cardiac arrest.
The report author stated: 'This case report highlights the dangers of increasingly popular over-the-counter slimming pills.
'Many slimming products have concentrations of up to 250mg of caffeine per tablet which is equivalent to more than four cans of Red Bull or seven cans of Coca Cola.
'Raspberry ketones are the naturally occurring chemical compounds that give raspberries their scent. They are promoted as "fat burners", although there is little evidence for this.
'In Cara's case, the cause of death was caffeine toxicity with a blood level of caffeine per litre which is within the fatal range.'
Her family has now launched a campaign to make stores take the pills off their shelves.
Raspberry ketones are advertised on Boots' website as a natural, fruit extract to help with weight loss.
It is recommended that no more than four capsules are taken each day - the caffeine equivalent to 16 cans of energy drink.
Mr Reynolds added: 'These pills are dangerous and need to be taken down by retailers.
'There also need to be age restrictions imposed on the purchase of diet pills and so called safe weight loss pills alike.
'These pills are not herbal or harmless like most people are led to believe.'
As part of his campaign, he has written to the retailer informing them of his daughter's death and asking them to stop selling raspberry ketones.
Mr Reynolds added: 'I lost my angel. I will never get to see her grow up, have children or get married. It's devastating.'