Buffed up former bankruptcy lawyer, online personality, and owner and operator of Enhanced Athlete Inc., Charles Anthony Hughes, a.k.a. Dr. Tony Huge, drew more than 100,000 followers on his YouTube channel where he touted the benefits of SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) like ostarine. “I use them all the time in mega doses, and I’m huge,” one of his videos claimed.
But recently, his company’s California facility was raided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of its crack down on dietary supplement makers that peddle SARMs, calling them unapproved drugs that have been linked to life threatening reactions including liver toxicity, Other risks include heart attack and stroke, with long-term effects still unknown.
The FDA seized raw materials and hundreds of thousands of dollars in finished and unfinished products. Among them was the SARM ostarine and 2,4-Dinitrophenol, or DNP, a chemical used for weight loss but has been linked to brain damage and deaths worldwide. DNP is most often used as a dye, wood preserve, and herbicide and has never been approved by the FDA for use as a drug.
“We are extremely concerned about unscrupulous companies marketing bodybuilding products with potentially dangerous ingredients,” Donald Ashley, director of FDA’s Office of Compliance in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an October warning letter to several companies that sold SARMs. “Bodybuilding products that contain selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, have not been approved by the FDA and are associated with serious safety concerns, including potential to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke and life-threatening reactions like liver damage.”
The FDA’s search of Enhanced Athlete may have been tipped off by a September raid at the company’s European division, which sold DNP on its website. The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said in a press release that efforts were being made to identify and speak with individuals connected to the seizure of DNP. The agency did not identify Enhanced Athlete or any other company in the statement, but it is understood that the FDA is collaborating with agencies in the U.K. to crack down on dietary supplement makers pushing these dangerous products.
Natural Products Insider