July 30, 2014

UK Bans Dangerous Sports Supplements

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK warned the public of potentially dangerous sports supplements available for sale. The agency said that “illegal sports supplements might contain dangerous ingredients that could cause kidney failure, seizures, and heart problems.”

Eighty-four illegal products that are marketed as energy and muscle gain enhancers are part of the warning. They contain high risk chemicals such as Ephedrine, Synephrine, and Yohimibine that can cause serious health side effects. The products may also contain steroids, stimulants, and hormones. Retailers have been told to remove those products from store shelves.

MHRA’s manager of the borderlines medicine section said, “People need to be aware that buying illegal sports supplements can seriously damage your health. The products may claim to boost your energy or muscle but they could contain unapproved ingredients.” UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson said, “elite athletes need to exercise extreme caution when it comes to deciding what they put into their body. A vital part of our prevention programme is educating athletes in the risk of supplements.”

Athletes should only use supplements from reputable manufacturers who have tested their health claims and have been screened to minimize testing positive for compounds on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List. The chemicals and ingredients in the now banned supplements can cause harm if used without medical supervision. Those chemicals should only be in medications available through prescription.

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