In a press release issued November 3, 2009, Bodybuilding.com LLC, an online supplement retailer, announced that it was conducting a voluntary recall of 65 dietary supplements that were sold through the company’s website. The recall is for all lots and expiration dates sold both nationwide and internationally.
The FDA states they have conducted a two-year investigation in which products bought from bodybuilding.com were later tested positive for steroids. Unlike foods and drug products, dietary supplements are not approved for safety or efficacy by the FDA before they hit the market. Instead, under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), it is up to the manufacturer to make sure the product is safe. The FDA can only take action after the products are on store shelves.
The FDA conducted an investigation on September 24 at the Boise, ID warehouse and informed the company that that it believes that the recalled products may contain anabolic steroids. The following ingredients were called into question: superdrol, madol, tren, androstenedione, and turinabol. Anabolic steroids are considered controlled substances in the United States.
Most of the recalled items are taken for body mass and muscle building, and include brand names such as Advanced Muscle Science, Competitive Edge Labs, Diabolic Labs, IDS, Kilo Sports, and Myogenix. A full list of recalled lots is available on the both the FDA website and on bodybuilding.com.
Bodybuilding.com says that it has not yet had an opportunity to independently confirm the FDA’s concerns, but that they are focused conducting the voluntary recall as a precaution to protect the health of its customers. The company also states that it has contacted the manufacturers of the products and has received assurances that each is in compliance with federal law and do not contain unlawful ingredients.
The FDA notes that there are currently no reports of adverse effects in connection with the dietary supplements in question.
Acute liver injury is one known possible harmful effect of using steroid-containing products. In addition, steroids may cause other serious long-term adverse health consequences in men, women, and children. These include shrinkage of the testes and male infertility, masculinization of women, breast enlargement in males, short stature in children, adverse effects on blood lipid levels, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
Customers who have any of the recalled products should stop using them immediately and contact their physician if they experience any problems that may be related to taking one or more of the ingredients listed above. In addition, any adverse effects should be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at www.fda.gov/Medwatch/report.htm or by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Products can be returned to Bodybuilding.com’s website. For instructions on the process, call the service department at 1-866-236-8417 or email email@example.com.
Bodybuilding.com sells about 12,000 products, many of them protein powders and multivitamins. The company website boasts that it has fulfilled over 4 million orders.
Denise Reynolds RD LDN