Nutritional supplements are a billion dollar industry.
And while supplement companies aren’t legally allowed to make health claims about what their supplements can do, there isn’t a lot of FDA oversight on what goes in supplements… or how they might hard you.
This is what researchers are warning about.
In a recently released publication, researchers are warning there’s a potential danger in several popular dietary supplements being sold today.
These supplements contain an ingredient which could harm you, or if you’re an athlete competing at a high level, get you suspended from your sport.
Researchers have identified that many dietary supplements, especially those geared towards weight loss and increasing workout performance may contain higenamine, a beta-2 agonist that that has been shown to be toxic to the heart.
The ingredient is not supposed to be in supplements. And WADA (the World Doping Agency) tests for it frequently, but it is being discovered in commonly available supplements.
This is a problem not only because it can harm you…
But because many of the manufacturers don’t list it in their ingredient list.
Researchers at NSF International in Ann Arbor, MI have uncovered these toxic ingredients pop up on all kinds of supplements.
This is what inspired John Travis, a senior researcher at NSF International, to warn people about dietary supplements after publishing their findings in the journal Clinical Toxicology.
“We’re urging competitive and amateur athletes, as well as general consumers, to think twice before consuming a product that contains higenamine,” he said after releasing his research.
“Beyond the doping risk for athletes,” he adds, “some of these products contain extremely high doses of a stimulant with unknown safety and potential cardiovascular risks when consumed.”
“What we’ve learned from the study is that there is often no way for a consumer to know how much higenamine is actually in the product they are taking.”
The other problem is just how pervasive this problem really is.
Travis and his team took a sampling of 24 supplements, both of which fell into the weight loss or pre-workout category, that had higenamine in the ingredients.
They noticed that while it was listed, there was a wide variance in how much actually popped up on the label.
According to them, the supplements tested were:
The 24 products tested in the study were: Adrenal Pump, Apidren, Beta-Stim, Burn-HC, Defcon1 Second Strike, Diablo, DyNO, Gnar Pump, Higenamine, High Definition, HyperMax, iBurn2, Liporidex Max, Liporidex PLUS, LipoRUSH DS2, N.O. Vate, OxyShred, Prostun-Advanced Thermogenic, Pyroxamine, Razor8, Ritual, Stim Shot, ThermoVate, and Uplift.
As Medical news wrote:
Worryingly, of all the supplements that the researchers looked at, only five products mentioned an exact quantity of higenamine. However, when the supplements were tested, Travis and his colleagues found that the listed quantities were incorrect.
Actual quantities of higenamine across the range of products included anything from trace amounts to 62 milligrams per serving. However, based on the label instructions, users may actually take up to 110 milligrams of the substance per day, which may harm their health in unpredictable ways.
“Some plants, such as ephedra, contain stimulants. If you take too much of the stimulants found in ephedra, it can have life-threatening consequences,” explains study co-author Dr. Pieter Cohen.
“Similarly,” he adds, “higenamine is a stimulant found in plants. When it comes to higenamine, we don’t yet know for certain what effect high dosages will have in the human body, but a series of preliminary studies suggest that it might have profound effects on the heart and other organs.”
So how bad are these ingredients?
Well, The New England Journal of Medicine said that in 2015 alone at least 23,005 visits to the emergency room in the U.S. alone were related directly to supplements.
The frightening thing is this ingredient is legal…
So be careful with what you take, for your health’s sake.