Dietary supplements promoted to improve athletic performance may be contaminated with drugs that render athletes ineligible to play and put them at risk for serious health problems, according to a serious of journal articles written by Bryan Denham, Campbell Professor of Sports Communication and chair of Clemson’s communication department.
The contaminant often found in dietary supplements is methylhexaneamine, or DMAA, an amphetamine derivative banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that DMAA posed a health risk to consumers because it could elevate blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems including shortness of breath and heart attack. “Dietary supplements containing DMAA are illegal and the FDA is doing everything within its authority to remove these products from the market,” the agency said in a Safety Communication.
Adding to the problem is that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) says that the FDA cannot inspect dietary supplements until the products have appeared in the marketplace, meaning manufacturers can slip illegal or undeclared drugs in supplements without the FDA’s knowledge. Often consumers suffer injuries before the FDA investigates.
“The DSHEA classifies supplements as a subcategory of food and from a policy standpoint the assumption is that supplements are safe to consume,” Denham told the Newsstand. “But that assumption means players looking to improve their health or performance might find themselves suspended from competition.”
Additionally, dietary supplements have also been found to contain anabolic steroids, a schedule II controlled substance that carries side effects including severe acne, hair loss, liver disease, kidney disease, heart attacks and strokes, as well as psychological effects including altered mood, irritability, increased aggression, depression or suicidal tendencies, the FDA warned.
Clemson, The Newsstand