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Study reveals majority of sports supplements have fraudulent ingredients

Posted on the 9th August 2023

Sports Supplements

New research has revealed that 89 per cent of sports supplements tested were inaccurately labeled.

Meanwhile, 12 per cent included banned drug substances.

Scientists at Cambridge Health Alliance, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts; University of Mississippi; and NSF International, Michigan, made the shocking discoveries after they analyzed the ingredients in a selection of sports supplements purchased online.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open, examined 57 dietary supplements marketed to increase energy or build muscle to determine if they contained five popular botanical ingredients promoted as having stimulant or anabolic effects.

All of the products in the study were reported to contain one of five popular supplements, R vomitoria (n=13), methylliberine (n=21), turkesterone (n=8), halostachine (n=7) and octopamine (n=8).

Twenty-three of the products (40 per cent) did not contain a detectable amount of the labeled ingredient.

Of the 34 products that contained detectable amounts of the listed ingredient, the actual quantity ranged from 0.02 per cent to 334 per cent of the labeled quantity.

Only six products contained an ingredient quantity within 10 per cent of that stated on the label.

Seven of the products were found to contain at least one U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-prohibited ingredient.

Five different FDA-prohibited compounds were found, including four synthetic simulants, 1,4-dimethylamylamine (DMAA), deterenol, octodrine (DMHA), oxilofrine and omberacetam. Six products contained one of these prohibited ingredients, and one contained a combination of four prohibited ingredients.

Overall, 89 per cent of the performance-enhancing dietary supplement labels did not accurately disclose the ingredients in the product and 12 per cent contained FDA-prohibited ingredients.

Unlike medical products, many regulators like the FDA do not require the pre-approval of supplements before manufacturers market their products.

Related: Vitamin D could cut the risk of heart attacks

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