These Supplements may Actually Harm your Health

New research warns that a number of weight loss and workout supplements contain — without accurately listing — potentially harmful doses of a substance that has been ruled as unsafe.

Recently, scientists looked into whether a range of supplements used as weight loss or workout aids may actually be harmful to those who take them.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ban all athletes from taking any drugs or supplements that include higenamine, a beta-2 agonist that may have toxic effects on the heart.

Yet despite the fact that higenamine is banned by the WADA, and that it might be harmful to people’s cardiovascular health, many dietary supplements still contain it as a substance that naturally occurs in certain plants, such as aconite.

The researchers — including John Travis, a senior research scientist at NSF International in Ann Arbor, MI — have revealed not only that higenamine is a widely used supplement ingredient, but also that companies that produce such supplements do not properly list the dosage at which this ingredient is used.

“We’re urging competitive and amateur athletes, as well as general consumers, to think twice before consuming a product that contains higenamine,” says Travis.

“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.”

John Travis

These findings now appear in the journal Clinical Toxicology.

 

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