Dietary Supplements Can Contain Viagra, Steroids, or Worse

WIRED | 10/12/2018 | Emily Dreyfuss
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You know those sexual enhancement dietary supplements for sale at gas stations and markets across the country? Beware, they might actually be viagra. Or steroids. Or an antidepressant. Many supposed dietary supplements for weight loss, erectile dysfunction, and muscle building may contain actual pharmaceuticals—but you likely have no way of knowing what's in them.

Between 2007 and 2016, the FDA issued warnings about unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients in 776 dietary supplements, according to a new report in JAMA Network Open. Of those, less than half received voluntary recalls. The authors compiled their data from the FDA’s own warning website. Known as the Tainted Products Marketed as Supplements List, it catalogs any time the FDA reports finding unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients in supplements. The hundreds of offending supplements the FDA found during that nine-year period traced back to 146 companies.

Paper - Picture - Supplement - Market - Anyone

The paper paints a damning picture of the growing supplement market, and should alarm anyone considering taking them, especially those for weight loss, muscle gain, or erectile dysfunction. And that’s a lot of people. More than half of US adults report taking dietary supplements, accounting for a $35 billion industry. A dietary supplement is defined by the FDA as any vitamin, enzyme, botanical, amino acid, or mineral that is not intended to cure or prevent a disease. A 2015 study found that supplement use sends 23,000 people to the ER each year in the US.

The paper published today is an analysis of what, if any, action the FDA has taken when it finds illegal substances in supplements. “The drug ingredients in these dietary supplements have the potential to cause serious adverse health effects owing to accidental misuse, overuse, or interaction with other medications, underlying health conditions, or other pharmaceuticals within the supplement,” write the authors, which include Jenna Tucker of the California Department of Food...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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