SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food, Beverage & Supplement Development - Asia PacificEU edition | US edition

Headlines > Formulation

Australia

Some Aussie sports supps could contain hidden ban-risking ingredients

Post a commentBy RJ Whitehead , 24-Jun-2014

Some Aussie sports supps could contain hidden ban-risking ingredients

A number of athletic nutritional supplements on sale in Australia are secretly fortified with androgens, a group of compounds that could lead athletes to be banned from competition.

The supplements, which are being marketed to sports people looking to build lean muscle while reducing body fat and enhancing endurance, was revealed by a team led by Dr Alison Heather, a physiology professor at the University of Otago in Dunedin. 

Hidden menaces

"The point is that you can't judge a book by its cover,” Heather said. ”The nutritional supplement label may not disclose all ingredients, and sometimes these additions are not declared on the product label

Athletes risk testing positive for a banned substance and the general public risks being inadvertently exposed to androgens, which have recognised health risks.”

The presence of androgens—usually steroid hormones that control the development of male characteristics by binding to androgen receptors—in the supplements is a cause for concern, especially as most of the tested products did not declare their addition. 

Heather said her team must now investigate further to identify which androgens appear in the supplements to better understand the implications for health and sports doping,.

The worldwide dietary supplement market is worth an estimated US$142.1bn, and by 2017 it is expected to reach almost $205bn. Most androgen-containing supplements state their contents on the label. 

Yet there have been many reports of unlabelled androgen-containing supplements, with some companies covertly adding androgens to their nutritional supplements to better satisfy their advertised claims.

More stringent testing

To investigate the availability of unlisted androgens in over-the-counter nutritional sports supplements, Heather and her team bought 79 random nutritional supplements from stores in Sydney. These included protein powders, amino acids, creatines, fat metabolisers, so-called testosterone-boosters, carbohydrates and stimulant/nitric oxide pre-workout supplements.

Of the 74 samples they tested by bioassay, six were androgen-positive even though they did not list this on the label. One other tested positive, but was listed an androgen on the label.

Although only 10% of the tested supplements proved positive for androgens, Heather is still concerned that some players in the nutritional sports supplement industry lack transparency in revealing all the ingredients in their products. 

To counter this, she recommended more stringent legislation to make the public fully aware of what they are putting into their bodies.

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Key Industry Events