Cardiac Stimulant Found in Some OTC Supplements

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pieter Cohen, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School

Dr. Cohen

Pieter Cohen, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Cambridge Health Alliance
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Dietary supplements lead to an estimated 23,000 emergency department visits each year in the United States (US), and weight loss and sports supplements contribute to a disproportionately large number of these emergency department visits. It is not known which ingredients in weight loss and sports supplements pose the greatest risk to consumers, but there are stimulants found in botanical remedies that might pose risks.

In the current study, we investigated the presence and quantity of higenamine a stimulant found in botanicals and available in sports and weight loss supplements sold in the US.

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About Half of Adults Use Dietary Supplements On A Regular Basis

Dr. Annette Dickinson PhD Consultant to the Council for Responsible Nutrition.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Annette Dickinson PhD
Consultant to the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

 
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?  

Dr. Dickinson: “A five-year series of consumer surveys (2007 to 2011) consistently found that about half of adult consumers use dietary supplements on a regular basis, and a higher percentage (about 2/3) report using dietary supplements when occasional as well as regular use is taken into account.  Over the five years, there was a shift in the pattern of supplement use, with the percentage of respondents who said they regularly used mostly a multivitamin declining, and the percentage who said they regularly used a variety of products increasing.  The top 7 products used were:  multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, B vitamins, and vitamin E.  The main reasons given for supplement use were for overall health and wellness (58% of users) and to fill nutrient gaps in the diet (42%).  Supplement users were more likely than nonusers to say they try to eat a balanced diet, visit their doctor regularly, get a good night’s sleep, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight.  This indicates that supplement use is part of an overall approach to seeking a healthy lifestyle.” Continue reading

Tamoxifen Found in Some Dietary Supplements

Simon D. Brandt, PhD Reader in Bioactive Drug Chemistry School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK Associate Editor "Drug Testing and Analysis" (Wiley)MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Simon D. Brandt, PhD
Reader in Bioactive Drug Chemistry
School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Liverpool John Moores University
Associate Editor “Drug Testing and Analysis” (Wiley)

Author’s background comment:

This type of work represents one of our areas of activity related to multi-disciplinary approaches to harm reduction which combines public health work with research on various properties of bioactive substances.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: As part of our work related to so-called lifestyle and image-enhancing drugs and legal highs/bath salts, we became interested in a particular “food/dietary supplement” called “Esto Suppress” because it was discussed on some Internet forums dedicated to the topic of bodybuilding. Some forum members were speculating that tamoxifen might be present in this particular product. The reason for this speculation came from the chemical name that was written on the label which pointed in that direction. This particular product was also widely available from a number of online retailers and while some indications existed that the same chemical name was mentioned, others were seen to list a modified version of that name which did not always make much chemical sense. We test purchased four “Esto Suppress” samples in a local fitness store and confirmed that three of them contained the breast cancer drug tamoxifen.
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