Credit: The New York Times.
The Food and Drug Administration frequently recalls dietary supplements that are found to contain banned substances. But a new study suggests that many of these products return to store shelves months later with the same dangerous ingredients.
The findings suggest that health authorities may be fighting an uphill battle against a small number of supplement companies that repeatedly sell contaminated products. The new study, published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that out of more than two dozen supplements that were pulled from shelves after they were found to contain anabolic steroids or powerful prescription drugs, roughly two-thirds were back on the market a year later with the same illicit ingredients.
Most of the supplements were marketed for weight loss, exercise and sexual enhancement, and they were sold across the country at convenience stores, in health food shops and over the Internet. They were found to contain steroids and prescription drugs like Viagra and Prozac, an antidepressant.
The study also found that several of the weight-loss products contained Sibutramine, an amphetamine-like drug that was removed from the market in the United States, Asia and Europe after a clinical trial showed it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Since 2004, about half of all F.D.A. drug recalls have involved dietary supplements found to be contaminated with banned pharmaceutical ingredients. Supplement industry trade groups say that these products are usually manufactured and sold by a few bad actors who represent the fringe of the roughly $33 billion a year supplement industry.
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As we enter the Fall/Winter season, we are conscious of maintaining our ideal weight and are trying to stay healthy. The temptations of comfort foods, treats, numerous holiday parties and celebrations have us on our guard against over indulging. We tend to skip meals in lieu of holiday treats, or grab a handful of vitamins and a piece of toast, in order to stay on course with maintaining, or losing weight. "That's not how it's done.." :) A proper, balanced diet, exercise and plenty of clean water, is recommended for maintaining good health and desired weight. This could happen in a perfect world, however, many of us skip meals, overindulge at parties and don't always get proper nutrition. Although it is recommended that your nutrition is obtained from healthy foods, not all dietary supplements are bad. Good quality dietary supplements may be added to your daily routine with desired results. It is recommended, to choose dietary supplements which are all natural, high in antioxidants and without chemical additives, binders, fillers and strange ingredients. Pure vitamins, herbs and extracts without chemical additives, are the healthy choice for adding to a healthy, nutritional diet. As with any change in dietary routine, consult an expert in the field. A healthy diet, drinking plenty of clean water and exercising daily, will help you to stay fit. Remember, with all products, including dietary supplements, read your labels and know what's going into your body. Familiarize yourself with the ingredients in your products. Know their purpose, the effects they will have on you and whether or not they are necessary.
Note: Read your water bottle labels, if you must drink from bottles. Many commercial waters contain sodium and additives, which the companies call, "Enhancers." Since when did nature's medicine (water) need enhancing? :) Sodium and metals (metals?!) in bottled water, make you even more thirsty, increasing the sales of their enhanced, bottled water. Read all labels.
The best of health to you!