Certain Popular Nutritional Supplements May be Dangerous
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced to consumers that certain nutritional supplements (often popular with athletes) may actually contain steroids or substances like steroids that can cause liver disease and kidney failure. The FDA has received a number of reports (mostly from men) of medical problems after use of the nutritional supplements. The FDA said there are eight specific supplements, all sold by the same company, which have been linked to illness.
Consumers are warned to avoid using body-building products to claim to enhance or diminish the effects of hormones. There are certain code words these products often have on their labels; users of these supplements typically know which words to look for:
- Gyno (referring to gynecomastia, which is a condition characterized by large breasts in males)
- Blocks hormones
- Minimizes gyno (again, referring to gynecomastia)
The FDA added that buyers should avoid products claiming to diminish or enhance the effects of hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, or progestin.
Other than provide general guidance and name eight specific products, the FDA has not been able to offer more because they admit they don’t know how many products the warning will ultimately affect. They believe there may be a number of firms with like products, or even products that are exactly the same as the ones that the FDA has already taken action against.
Companies who market dietary supplements do not have to prove the drugs are effective or safe before the FDA approves it for sale. The industry is largely self-regulating and is responsible for making claims about safety and effectiveness, as well as voluntarily recalling them if there are problems with little oversight.
The FDA has received at least 15 reports over the last two years of serious health problems related to taking body building products.