September 29, 2020

Steroids in Our Supplements is More Important Than Steroids in Baseball

Uber-lobbyist to the supplement industry, Loren Israelsen, recently forwarded selected remarks from an editorial by Rob Eder of Drug Store News to members of the United Natural Products Alliance. I was dismayed to see Rob Eder (and by extension Loren Israelsen) rave about the good job the supplement industry does at policing itself.

“As I have previously suggested, perhaps the Congress should examine whether the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act–DSHEA, as it is commonly known–is being adequately enforced,” Fehr said […]

I have got some news for Donald Fehr: They don’t sell steroids in the supplement aisle. They don’t sell the “cream” or the “clear,” either. That’s because this industry does a better job of policing itself than Major League Baseball ever could.

Clearly, Fehr was disingeniously trying to blame DSHEA for the problem baseball was having with anabolic steroids. He tried to use the supplement industry as a scapegoat for MLB’s problems and it deservedly failed.

But the supplement industry needs to pull their heads out of the stand, stop patting themselves on the back for a job well-done, and respond honestly to criticisms of their industry. [Read more…]

Steroids and Dietary Supplement Regulation

Several blogs have been discussing Neil Levin’s criticism of inaccuracies reported by CNN.¬†¬†Levin strongly criticized CNN for “preposterous,” “erroneous,” and otherwise “false claims” that dietary supplements are “unregulated” and/or free of “government supervision.” His blog entry goes on to cite the many ways that dietary supplements are regulated by the government. The lengthy entry, with several quotes from regulatory agencies gives the impression that the dietary supplement industry is tightly regulated.

While CNN is technically inaccurate, it is closer to the truth than Levin’s advocacy would suggest. From a consumer standpoint, I feel it is safer to assume that dietary supplements are unregulated. Most regulations are actually “post-marketing” measures i.e. very little prevents a new supplement from being sold in the marketplace. [Read more…]

Steroids Found in Popular Dietary Supplements

A recent study revealed approximately 25% of popular dietary supplements in the U.S. were contaminated with low levels of steroids; 11% of supplements were contaminated with stimulants, most commonly ephedrine. These steroidal and stimulant ingredients were not declared on the product label.

The study was done by Informed Choice, a nonprofit coalition of dietary supplements, and the analysis was conducted by the British company, HFL, to investigate levels of steroid and stimulant contamination in popular supplements available on the US market. The names of the supplements that were tested were not identified. This is most likely out of fear of legal action against them by any company should it be named in the study results. [Read more…]