A FATHER has told how his 24-year-old daughter died after taking over-the-counter slimming tablets.

A FATHER has told how his 24-year-old daughter died after taking over-the-counter slimming tablets.

Michael Reynolds, 55, a security officer, is calling for the 'deadly' pills to be taken off the shelves in the UK.

Cara Reynolds suffered a heart attack after taking the Forza Raspberry Ketones. Each tablet contains more caffeine than four cans of energy drink Red Bull.

After finding his daughter unconscious on her bedroom floor on March 5, 2013, Mr Reynolds noticed an empty bottle and called an ambulance.

Despite attempts to resuscitate her, Cara died five hours later.

The herbal slimming pills are advertised as 'natural' supplements to aid weight loss.

However, Mr Reynolds, from Edinburgh, said retailers like Boots, Holland and Barrett and Amazon should ban over-the-counter sales of these, and similar, pills.

He said: "My entire world has collapsed since I lost my Cara. Our beautiful girl paid less than £20 and bought these pills from Amazon.

"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."

In February 2013, Cara, a support nurse, bought the tablets online.

She told her parents that she planned to take them to help her lose weight.

After taking two pills, Cara went to her father complaining of heart palpitations.

He said: "She was scared because her heart was going 10 to the dozen. She said she wasn't going to take them for weight loss any more."

But a month later she had a seizure. Cara admitted she had taken most of the slimming pills and was vomiting and fitting for half an hour before falling unconscious.

Mr Reynolds said: "I held my only daughter in my arms and before she became unresponsive she kept telling me she had made a mistake and she didn't want to die.

"She'd broken up with her fiance of one year and was left devastated. In a moment of madness, she'd taken an overdose. It was the most heartbreaking moment of my life."

Mr Reynolds called paramedics who rushed her to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.

After five hours and 44 attempts to resuscitate her, Cara was pronounced dead.

A British Medical Journal (BMJ) case report looking into her cause of death states Cara had ingested 18,000mg of caffeine and 18,000mg of raspberry ketones.

The high dosage of caffeine sent her heart into cardiac arrest.

BMJ experts 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."

Her parents and brother Bryce, 22, have launched a campaign to make stores take the pills off their shelves.

Mr Reynolds added: "These pills are not herbal or harmless like most people are led to believe."

Mr Reynolds has written to Amazon asking them to stop selling raspberry ketones.

On November 20, he received a response: "We're sorry to hear of your loss. We value all feedback from our customers and your correspondence has been forwarded to the correct team internally for consideration."

Pillmakers Forza, who were named in the British Medical Journal report into Cara's death, failed to respond to a request for a comment.

Amazon had also not responded.

*Lorraine Kelly has called in police over adverts which used her image to sell diet products without her permission. Pictures of the star have repeatedly been used in advertisements which claims that she used Raspberry Ketone pills and tea to lose weight.

Adverts for Raspberry Ketone pills and tea have shown "before" and "after" shots of Kelly, stating that she used the tablets to help lose weight.

The 55-year-old TV host wrote on Twitter that she had called in police as she insisted had never taken the weight loss products.