Banned Substance found in Dietary Supplements

DIetary Supplements

Athletes’ careers tarnished by unapproved stimulant

We’ve posted in the past about the lax regulations for dietary supplements in the U.S. The two main issues surrounding supplements are the lack of standards regarding their effectiveness or safety and quality control industry-wide is less than ideal. While the government may be neglecting the seriousness of these matters, the sports world is not.

More than a dozen brands of weight loss supplements marketed to help burn fat were found to contain oxilofrine, also known as methylsynephrine, a banned stimulant in competition sports. Oxilofrine, which is known to increase heart rate and raise blood pressure, is used to treat low pressure in some countries but is not approved for use in the U.S.

As a matter of fact, oxilofrine is basically a chemically-synthesized version of ephedra, a dietary supplement that was banned by the FDA in 2004 due to the unreasonable risk of attack and stroke.

Fallout over the years

A number of athletes who were suspended from competition after testing positive for oxilofrine since 2009 say it was in their regimen of supplements. Most notable among them were sprinters Tyson Gay of the U.S. and Asafa Powell of Jamaica.

Apparently, according to the FDA, action is being taken. Letters requiring labeling compliance were sent to eight manufacturers that list the drug on their supplement labels.  The manufacturers have two weeks to respond as to how their products will be brought into compliance.

Source: Amy Norton, “Stimulant, banned from sports, found in dietary supplements in US.” April 7, 2016.

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