Nutritional supplements: prevalence of use and contamination
with doping agents
In a review article by van Thurne and colleagues they discuss the role that nutritional supplements play in the lifestyle of a substantial proportion of the population
In addition to vitamins or minerals products, several precursors of anabolic steroids are marketed as nutritional supplements. Another group of commercially available supplements are products for weight loss based upon herbal formulations originating from Ephedra species.
Whilst some supplements indicate the presence of these active compounds, numerous non-hormonal nutritional supplements are to be found that were contaminated with non-labelled anabolic steroids. Stimulating agents other than naturally occurring analogues of ephedrine were detected
A major group using dietary supplements are sportsmen, ranging from amateur level to elite athletes. Besides the possible health risks associated with the use of dietary supplements, athletes should take care not to violate the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency
The responsibility for knowing what is in these supplements lies with athletes. They remain responsible for substances detected in their biofluids, irrespective of their origin.
The consequences of failing to do this are dire. The drug testing system is now very efficient. Or appears to be.
W. Van Thuyne et al 2006, Nutritional supplements:prevalence of use and contamination with doping agents. Nutrition Research Reviews vol 19 , 147-158
- Martin Eastwood