800 dietary supplements contained unapproved drug ingredients

Nearly 800 dietary supplements contained ingredients not approved by FDA study finds

About 1 in 5 products (20 percent) were found to contain more than one hidden drug ingredient, the study found.

The most common pharmaceutical ingredients detected in adulterated weight loss products were sibutramine, which was removed from the USA market in 2010 due to cardiovascular risks, and the laxative phenolphthalein.

Many consumers do not know the true composition of dietary supplements, and often this affects their overall health.

The greatest number of products found to contain hidden ingredients were reported in 2009, when two large recalls together named 99 products.

To get tainted supplements off the market, the FDA first has to try to get the companies to issue a voluntary recall every time the agency finds evidence of drugs in a supplement, Cohen said.

Dietary supplements promising enhanced sexual pleasure, weight loss, and muscle gain secretly contain risky pharmaceuticals, researchers warn. Most of the tainted supplements were marketed for sexual enhancement, muscle building or weight loss, and the ingredients found in them were often pharmaceutical drugs - such as steroids or the active ingredient in Viagra - that consumers normally need a prescription to take. One supplement promoted as a treatment for arthritis - Pro ArthMax - was found to contain four different NSAIDs, as well as a muscle relaxant and a non-narcotic pain reliever that was never approved for use in the United States.

The California researchers based their findings on an analysis of a Food and Drug Administration database that identifies "tainted" supplements.


An investigation has found that hundreds of over-the-counter dietary supplements contain unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients that have the potential to cause serious adverse health effects. They are not meant to treat or prevent disease and are not subject to premarket safety and efficacy testing.

Despite these findings, more than half the time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not enforce recalls of supplements that knowingly contained potentially risky ingredients.

And among muscle-building supplements, synthetic steroids or steroid-like ingredients were the cause for concern almost 90 percent of the time, the researchers said.

"The FDA didn't even bother to recall more than half of the potentially hazardous supplements", writes Dr. Pieter Cohen, a Harvard Medical School professor and an internist with Cambridge Health Alliance in Boston, in an accompanying editorial comment to the paper. "The study lays a foundation for ongoing enforcement work in this area, by the FDA and other partner agencies, to curb the illegal manufacture, importation, distribution and sales of adulterated dietary supplements", department spokesman Corey Egel said in an email.

"Despite these challenges, the FDA recognizes the seriousness of this problem and continues to act within its resources and authorities to address this problem as best it can", a FDA spokesman said. Such products pose serious health risks, especially to users who are unaware that the supplements they are taking are actually adulterated with drugs.

In the meantime, the FDA's "failure to aggressively use all available tools to remove pharmaceutically adulterated supplements from commerce leaves consumers' health at risk", Cohen wrote.

Related News:

  • Harvard accused of bias against Asians-Americans at trial

    Harvard accused of bias against Asians-Americans at trial

    Kavanaugh, strengthened the court's conservative majority and could signal a new approach if it revisits the issue. Students for Fair Admissions has explicitly said their goal is to overturn that precedent .
    Toddler found dead in oven

    Toddler found dead in oven

    Williams said those toys had belonged to the child. 'This is one of the most frightful things I've seen in doing law enforcement. Williams says he won't release the names of the grandmother or the toddler until the filing of the murder charge is completed.
    IDF strikes Gaza targets after rocket fire hits home in Beersheba

    IDF strikes Gaza targets after rocket fire hits home in Beersheba

    The Magen David Adom rescue service said a mother and three children in the home were being treated for shock symptoms. The blockade has restricted Hamas' ability to govern and made life extremely hard for Gaza's 2 million residents.
  • Canelo signs 11-fight, $365M deal with DAZN

    Canelo signs 11-fight, $365M deal with DAZN

    DAZN is a growing player in the boxing market following its $1billion deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom USA earlier this year. That deal included a total of 16 bouts each year across the USA on top of Matchroom's existing 16 fight nights in the UK.
    Young woman enters Sabarimala; Returns due to protests

    Young woman enters Sabarimala; Returns due to protests

    Protesters smashed the windows of a vehicle carrying a female journalist from CNN NEWS 18, footage from the channel showed. As soon as she arrived at the bus terminal, police formed a protective ring around her and escorted her to a safe place.
    Britain's May confronts EU leaders amid Brexit crisis

    Britain's May confronts EU leaders amid Brexit crisis

    The so-called backstop is created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit. Ministers arriving for Cabinet on Tuesday morning were offered sausage and bacon sandwiches.
  • Merkel: Germany Preparing for 'No Deal' Brexit

    Merkel: Germany Preparing for 'No Deal' Brexit

    This would help avoid any hard decisions on the Ireland border and give more time to negotiate a future trade deal between the European Union and the UK.
    Halftime Analysis of No. 12 MI  vs No. 15 Wisconsin

    Halftime Analysis of No. 12 MI vs No. 15 Wisconsin

    Hornibrook was hit as he delivered a pass and Hill snatched it out of the air with one hand before reeling off a 21-yard pick six. Even if he can't, though, Wisconsin may still end up representing the West Division in the Big Ten championship game.
    Celtics too good for 76ers in National Basketball Association  opener

    Celtics too good for 76ers in National Basketball Association opener

    It sounds insane to even think about a game that far away, but the end of December will be here before basketball fans know it. Philadelphia turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and Boston capitalized by jumping out to an early lead.
  • Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Give Yeezys to Orphans During Uganda Trip

    Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Give Yeezys to Orphans During Uganda Trip

    I love Trump because he tells the Africans frankly. the Africans need to solve their problems, they need to be strong. Kim also shares 4-year-old North with husband and rapper Kanye West .
    Netflix adds seven million subscribers over summer after spring stumble

    Netflix adds seven million subscribers over summer after spring stumble

    Netflix has just released two big-ticket TV series and a couple of original films that it acquired from Ronnie Screwvala's RSVP. Netflix will spend how much? Netflix also posted strong subscriber growth - a key barometer of the company's performance.
    USA  airstrike wiped out al-Shabab camp, intel officials say

    USA airstrike wiped out al-Shabab camp, intel officials say

    Africa Command said in a statement that the strike occurred on October 12 near Harardere, a town 250 miles north of Mogadishu. It was the most lethal U.S. airstrike the November 2017 attack which killed about 100 al-Shabab fighters.


Most liked

Anna Burns wins Man Booker prize for 'Milkman'
In the week following the 2017 victor announcement, sales of Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders increased by 1,227 per cent. In 2014, authors from any English-speaking country became eligible for the prize for the first time.

Stephens qualifies for first WTA finals , Latest Tennis News
So it's pretty stressful but somehow it's normal because injuries are pretty normal when you play at the highest level. I want just to be better and ready to play the tournament".

'Orange Is The New Black' To End After Season 7
It fell to a bummed-looking Danielle "Taystee" Brooks and Adrienne C. After seven seasons, it's time to be released from prison.

Keira Knightley won’t let her daughter watch Disney movies
The Bend It Like Beckham actress is typically private about her family life but also opened up about Edie's dream profession. Even the 1989 classic The Little Mermaid- which she admitted was a personal favourite- was also off-limits for the toddler.

Kevin Durant's brother: 'Filling the hand up before we get outta here'
Russell Westbrook is out for the season opener, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan confirmed Tuesday. The only downside from Durant's perspective could be the way he is perceived by the Warriors faithful.

Google Maps now offers detailed info on EV chargers
That assistance comes in the form of Google Maps which, beginning today, will show EV charging stations within the app . Lastly, in Australia and New Zealand, Google Maps will tell you where to find Chargefox stations.

Indian Minister Resigns to Contest #MeToo Allegations in Court
Patel, in the same blog, accused him of molesting her twice while she was working in Hyderabad in the Deccan Chronicle in 1993. PM Modi asked MJ Akbar to step down as Union Minister over #MeToo allegations by women journalists, claims media reports.

Sesame Street’s Big Bird Actor Caroll Spinney Is Retiring
Spinney explained during to The New York Times that his fading health was the impetus for leaving the show. Big Bird and Oscar will be recast following Spinney's departure form the series.

James Ellsworth Comments On Being Left Off SmackDown 1000
But SmackDown 1000 seemed to promise we'll be getting plenty of Big Show and The Bar teaming up in the near future. Previously on the Best and Worst of Smackdown Live: We recapped the boring ol' 999th episode with Becky Lynch vs.

CDC: 'Mystery illness' leaving dozens of children paralyzed
When AFM strikes, patients experience sudden weakness, as well as loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the arms and legs. Boston Children's Hospital has evaluated all of the confirmed and suspected AFM cases that occurred in MA this year.

Hate crime linked to religion doubled in three years
The report suggested that hate crime incidents had dropped 40 percent over the past decade, as crime overall fell 39 percent. Of almost 8,300 reported reasons for hate crimes across the six forces in the east of England, 1,311 were due to disability.

Iranian border guards kidnapped on border with Pakistan
The province has always been a flashpoint, with Baluchi separatists and jihadists based in Pakistan regularly attacking Iranian security posts.

Google CEO says ‘important to explore’ China project
Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010, refusing Beijing's requirement to censor search results. Google had a search engine in China from 2006 to 2010.

Extremist groups remain in Syria's demilitarized zone as deadline passes
The Syrian government has welcomed the deal but noted that it was temporary not a permanent one. "Get away from the fighters. Their fate is sealed and near".

Melania Trump’s plane turns back after mechanical issue
The trip remains on for later Wednesday and the first lady will take a different plane, Grisham said . One staffer told reporters that the cause of the smoke was a malfunctioning communications unit.