Steroids and Stimulants Hidden But Found in Common Supplements

Researchers has found unnamed ingredients in common supplements for muscle building and sexual health.

Whether people want to lose weight or build muscle, many of us rely on supplements to have an edge as we go about our health goals.

However, a recent investigation shows that these common supplements may contain ingredients you wouldn’t expect — and you won’t find them listed on the bottle.

In a report published in JAMA Network Open this month, researchers analyzed some samples and found that 776 dietary supplements, sold over the counter and online, contained unapproved ingredients.

Many of the supplements analysed by the study were marketed for one of three things: sexual enhancement (about 46%), weight loss (41%), or muscle building (12%). These supplements were found to be adulterated with potentially dangerous substances.

“There’s no guarantee that what’s in the bottle is the same as what the bottle says is in there. Manufacturers are getting ingredients for supplements from all over the place and there are so many points where something that’s not supposed to be there could be added,”

said Dr. Arielle Levitan, coauthor of “The Vitamin Solution,” and cofounder of Vous Vitamin.

For example, many weight-loss supplements in the study contained sibutramine, this drug increases the risk of cardiovascular issues and was removed from the United States in 2010.

The majority of muscle building supplements were tainted by unlabeled anabolic steroids, the report said. And sexual potency drugs often contained sildenafil — the active ingredient in Viagra.

While not all of these adulterants are inherently dangerous, they have the potential to cause harm if taken at the wrong dose or in conjunction with other drugs.

“It’s not that all the drugs are bad — they’re great at what they’re supposed to do — but they need to be given in a safe and regulated way that doctors can monitor,”

added Levitan.

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