Question: Is Candlenut safe for weight loss?

Question mark speech bubble isolated on yellow background.Question mark speech bubble isolated on yellow background.

The answer is clear: it is not safe!

Candlenut seeds
Candlenut seeds

Nearly everyone is looking for the magic bullet to assist with weight loss and keeping it off once people hit their goal. There are many things that are safe and effective for losing weight and keeping it off. Unfortunately, candlenut in not one of them. This supplement is one of the most dangerous fads to hit the market.

I recently read an article in a journal on this supplement​[1]​. The article reviewed the case of a 16-year-old male who was admitted to the Pediatric ICU with acute onset of vomiting, somnolence, and chest pain, and electrocardiogram showing 2nd-degree heart block after ingesting an Aleurites moluccana (Candlenut) seed as a herbal weight loss supplement.

Electrocardiogram showed progressively worsening heart block with down-sloping of the ST segments, resembling digoxin toxicity. After 2 days of ICU observation, his symptoms began to improve and eventually resolved. The side effects of herbal supplements are often unknown but by analyzing cases such as these, physicians can develop a better understanding of these substances to help guide management.

This case should be extremely alarming for any parent. This young man thought this supplement made from the seeds of this plant would help him slim down. At that age, we all feel bulletproof and think to could happen to us. Fortunately, this young man recovered and did not suffer the ultimate cost of supplements. Hundreds are not this lucky every year.

The bottom line: Candlenut is extremely dangerous and not with the risk. If you ahem a supplement containing this ingredient, throw it out now. It may help you lose weight through death. Although effective, you will not be around to enjoy it.


  1. [1]
    D. R. O’Brien, V. Szymczuk, and C. A. Albaro, “Weight loss supplement causing acute heart block in a child,” Cardiol Young, pp. 131–133, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.1017/s104795111900283x. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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