The Food and Drug Administration released a statement on Friday regarding findings that a particular brand of vitamin B supplements could pose a human health risk due to the possibility of the supplements containing harmful anabolic steroids.
In the statement, the FDA said that two types of steroids were found in Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 supplements.
A preliminary FDA laboratory analysis indicated that the product contains methasterone, a controlled substance, and dimethazine, and are two potentially harmful anabolic steroids.
"Products marketed as a vitamin but which contain undisclosed steroids pose a real danger to consumers and are illegal," said Howard Sklamberg, the director of the FDA's Office of Compliance. "The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as vitamins and dietary supplements do not pose harm to consumers."
Doctors should notify their patients regarding any dietary supplements they may be using, particularly in patients exhibiting warning signs that may be associated with the use of steroids or steroid-like substances.
These warning signs include "liver injury, kidney failure and stroke. They also include hormone-associated adverse effects such as blood clots, including pulmonary embolism (a sudden blockage in a lung artery), and deep vein thrombosis - a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body, often in the lower leg or thigh," the statement added.
People take vitamin B supplements for a variety of reasons and they are thought to increase energy and metabolism. But the FDA found 29 reported incidents of negative side effects, including women who had reported unusual hair growth and men who reported impotence.
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