Shocking it may sound, but researchers have urged consumers to avoid using weight loss or sports supplements that list deterenol as an ingredient.
Scientists at the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Belgium’s Sciensano also participated in the research.
According to them, supplements containing deterenol have not been approved for use in humans in the US and have been connected to reports of adverse events, including vomiting, sweating, nausea, agitation, chest pain, palpitations and cardiac arrest. The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Toxicology.
Dr. Pieter Cohen, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Internist at Cambridge Health Alliance and a co-author of the study, said, “We’re urging clinicians to remain alert to the possibility that patients may be inadvertently exposed to experimental stimulants when consuming weight loss and sports supplements.”
He added: “We’re talking about active pharmaceutical stimulants that have not been approved by the U.S. FDA for oral use as either prescription medications or dietary supplements. These ingredients have no place in dietary supplements.”
In certain cases, the tested supplements contained as many as four experimental stimulants per product. Combinations of these ingredients may pose health risks to consumers, as their safety is poorly understood.
According to John Travis, Senior Researcher at NSF International and co-author of the study, “These hidden stimulant cocktails have never been tested in humans and their safety is unknown.”
“You never want to find unlabeled ingredients in supplements, but it is especially concerning to find these strange brews of experimental stimulants in products that are readily available in the United States,” Travis added.
Independent testing needed
The research bats for independent testing and certification of dietary supplements, a public health service that NSF provides.
NSF facilitated development of the only American National Standard for dietary supplements (NSF/ANSI 173), which became the foundation of NSF’s accredited dietary supplement certification program in 2001 (ANSI-Accredited Product Certification Body – Accreditation #0216).
To get NSF certification, products are tested for product formulation, potentially harmful ingredients, label claims and harmful levels of specific contaminants.
In addition, NSF certified dietary supplements must be produced in a manufacturing facility that is inspected twice a year to comply with the U.S. FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements.
Products certified under NSF’s Certified for Sport program must meet additional requirements and are screened for 280 athletic banned substances.
Various professional and elite sports associations and leagues recommend or require the use of Certified for Sport products, including MLB, NHL, NFL, PGA, LPGA, CFL and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
Dr. Bastiaan Venhuis, senior researcher at RIVM and Celine Vanhee, senior researcher at Sciensano, said, “If consumers feel unwell after taking a food supplement, they should immediately stop taking it and seek medical advice.”
Venhuis also said that clinicians can then send the food supplement to independent testing authorities in order to exactly pinpoint the cause of the adverse effect.
(With inputs from The OnLook News Research Bureau)
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