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The FDA is warning athletes who use supplements to be careful what they're putting into their bodies

The Food and Drug Administration recently published its latest public health advisory, warning Americans to stop purchasing certain products often labeled as dietary supplements, because of an increase in acute liver injury and kidney failure related to such products.

Specifically, several products from American Celluar Labs, including TREN-Xtreme, MASS Xtreme and six other products, led to an FDA letter saying the company reportedly had been selling unapproved and misbranded drugs.  The American Cellular offices were raided last week by the FDA, with Jeff Novizky, the point man behind the BALCO probe, seeking evidence the company is secretly selling steroids.

The FDA warns all athletes and weight lifters to avoid any products that have words such as "anabolic" and "tren" in the name -- along with noting any products that "minimizes gyno" or "blocks estrogen," are also red flags to a product that may contain something other than natural supplements.

Aside from listing eight products from a single company, the FDA's guidelines are still relatively blurry, though it's especially worth noting the FDA is urging all high school and college student athletes to monitor what they are putting into their bodies.  Most college-level and professional athletes undergo rigorous testing to catch performance enhancing drugs, but most high school students aren't drug tested before being selected into athletic programs.

However, the FDA's Michael Levy said all consumers who purchase dietary supplements should be cautious, as many products meet minimum requirements to get on store shelves, but could still be dangerous.

“I applaud what the F.D.A. is doing, but the law handcuffs their hands behind their backs when they are dealing with the tsunami of products that get on the shelves,” according to U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, who obviously is an outspoken antidoping official. “This shows a glaring light on the ineffective regulatory scheme that allows these products to get to the market.”

As an athlete who has used various whey proteins and other supplements, it's nice to see the FDA finally beginning to crack down on dangerous products that could be dangerous.  I've known several people who believed it was their supplements that made them sick, but didn't believe something they could purchase over-the-counter from a store like GNC would make them sick.

While I applaud the FDA for cracking down on potentially dangerous products, I still don't think there is enough being done to stop companies from releasing a product before they're sure what kind of long-term effects athletes may endure later down the road.




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