Dangerous stimulant found in 14 supplement products in the United States


The stimulant oxilofrine is considered dangerous and banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, Major League Baseball, National Football League, and other sports organizations. Still, a global public health organization says the ephedrine-like substance is found in 14 over-the-counter dietary supplements sold by popular retail stores in the United States. This is the fourth time in three years that the NSF International research team has discovered unapproved stimulants disguised in herbal ingredient supplements. After NSF International sounded the alarm about an unapproved pharmaceutical stimulant, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 4 sent warning letters to seven companies with a formal notification stating that products containing oxilofrine that do not state it on the label are mislabelled. The food ingredient has been studied in animals and humans. It was found to cause effects on the heart similar to ephedrine, which was banned by the FDA in 2004 for its severe side effects. Since then, replacement stimulants have included DEPEA, DMAA and DMBA. Oxilofrine is apparently only the latest to be found in food supplements. Reactions to oxilofrine have included nausea and vomiting, tachycardia, chest pain, and cardiac arrest. On the label, oxilofrine is often listed as “methylsynephrine” or “acacia extract”. If taken according to label directions, some of the supplements result in a daily intake of 250 mg per person, about double the level approved for adults. Adolescents may put themselves at particular risk by consuming this amount of oxilofrine. NSF International cited a Harvard Medical School researcher in their report. “Teens who use these products could face serious harm. The doses above those in adults that we have found could overstimulate their smaller, growing bodies, ”said Dr. Pieter Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who has conducted extensive research on supplements. “In countries where oxilofrine is prescribed by doctors, the usual amount of the drug for adolescents is 24 mg or less. We have found amounts in oxilofrine supplements more than three times the usual pediatric dose. Combined with physical activity and other stimulants commonly found in supplements, the consequences could be catastrophic. The products named by NSF International, along with the manufacturer’s name, label strength and “health claims” were:

  • ALR Industries Hyper Drive 3.0, 250 mg – “Intensive Diet and Energy Aid”
  • TBN Body Nutrition Ephedra Free Shredder, 220 mg – “A Killer ABS Formula”
  • Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Fastin, 190 mg – “Pharmaceutical Grade Weight Loss Aid for Optimal Nutrition and Energy”
  • Line One Nutrition Lean Pills, 98 mg – “Fat Burning”
  • Ephedra Free Tummy Tuck by TBN Total Body Nutrition, 44 mg – “A Killer ABS Formula”
  • Methyl Drive 2.0 by ANS, 35 mg – “Powerful thermogenic boost”
  • MTS Nutrition Fall Factor, 33 mg – “Thermogenic Potency”
  • Exile by American Muscel Sports Nutrition Co., 25 mg – “Euphoric Weight Loss”
  • China White 25 Ephedra from Cloma Pharma Laboratories, 23 mg – “Energy, thermogenesis, alertness, fat burning”
  • Phenadrine by APS, 11 mg – “The World’s Strongest Diet & Energy Diet”
  • Kat-a-lyst Nutraceuticals Hypercor, 1.2 mg – “Metabolic Formula”
  • MethylDrene 25 Ephedra Elite Stack by Cloma Pharma Laboratories, 0.05 mg – “Super intense-hardcore version”
  • Miami Lean by Skyline Nutrition, 02 mg – “Distant Burner”
  • Rok Hard Body Sport Nutrition Eliminator X, 0.0003 mg – “Maximum Strength Formula”

Any of these products can be found anywhere that diet and muscle supplements are sold in retail outlets across the United States. “Products certified under the rigorous NSF Certified for Sport program include additional steps to screen for supplements for over 230 substances banned in sport, which is why the program is used by the NFL, NHL, MLB, PGA , the LPGA, the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the New York City Police Department, ”according to an NSF press release on its findings of oxilofrine. (To subscribe to Food Safety News for free, click here.)

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