Woman took diet tablets in month before her death
on 06/07/2012 00:00:00
"There is no direct connection being made [between the death and the tablets] but, in years to come, a body of evidence may emerge," said Dr Cullinane.
Finnish national Ms Janatuinen, aged 30, who lived at the Eden apartment complex in Blackrock, Cork, was found dead in bed by her boyfriend, Warren Jones, on Feb 6, 2012.
Cork City Coroner's Court was told yesterday Ms Janatuinen had a raised body mass index of 40.9, putting her in the morbidly obese category, and was a heavy drinker, consuming up to 30 units of alcohol a week.
Both conditions put her at high risk of cardiac disease or cardiac failure, assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said.
Mr Jones said his girlfriend, who had been living and working in Cork for five years, was conscious of her weight problem and was beginning to do something about it.
Mr Jones said she had started walking to work in nearby RCI and was planning to join a gym. She had also been taking the CLA 24/7 tablets for about a month before her death, he told the inquest.
She went to a work party on Friday, Feb 3, last and performed acrobatics, lifting colleagues into the air, which strained her neck.
Mr Jones said she complained of a headache and sore neck that weekend but he said they put it down to a "two-day hangover".
The couple slept in separate rooms on work days and Mr Jones said when he woke on Monday morning, he assumed Ms Janatuinen had already left for work and did not check her room.
However, when her work colleagues phoned him later to say she had not turned up, he checked her room and found her dead in bed.
Dr Bolster ruled out sudden adult death syndrome, and said there was no sign of an acute allergic reaction to the slimming pills.
Dr Bolster said because of Ms Janatuisen's obesity, she had developed a very enlarged heart and the cause of death was acute heart failure, due to dilated cardiomyopathy or heart disease, with a contributory factor of raised BMI.
Dr Cullinane said based on a current literature, the role CLA may have played in the death could not be identified, and she returned a verdict of death due to natural causes.
Lowdown on CLA 24/7
* CLA 24/7 is advertised as a food supplement that burns fat around the clock.
* It has been on sale in Ireland since Sept 2011 and is regulated by the Food Safety Authority.
* CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acid.
* Its manufacturers, Pharma Nord, say that in the body, CLA is converted into eicosanoids - hormone-like substances that regulate the relative amounts of muscle and fat - enabling the body to convert fat to muscle mass, toning rather than reducing weight.
* Assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said it had been shown that CLA reduced obesity in animals but there was no scientific proof it worked in humans. She also pointed out while there was a very recent reference in the medical literature to a case of liver problem linked to CLA, there was no reference to any CLA-related fatalities.
* A Pharma Nord spokesman welcomed the coroner's decision to refer the case to the Irish Medicines Board: "We have a very strict pharmacovigilance procedure and our pharmacovigilance department will be very interested in dealing with this case."