Canberrans using sports supplements for bodybuilding and weight loss are being warned of the health risks associated with the products after it was found certain supplements contained banned and dangerous substances.
Following a complaint from a member of the public, ACT Health is currently investigating sports supplements products in the ACT after the Health Protection Service (HPS) found sports supplements containing banned substances were being sold in Canberra.
Sport supplement products that have been found as part of the investigation are labelled to contain substances such as selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), cardarine, tadalafil, oxedrine, melatonin and phenibut.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly said the substances that claim to be fat burning or muscle building effect are either prescription only medication or are “banned poisons”.
Dr Kelly said even small doses of the chemicals they have seized can be harmful to long-term health, and some of the compounds have shown to cause cancer in animals, as well as heart and blood pressure issues.
He said it is not only illegal for supplement stores to supply these substances, but it is also illegal for people to possess some of these substances without a prescription.
“The sport supplements we are investigating contain a variety of substances, some of which can have a significant impact on someone’s health when taken without advice from a health professional,” Dr Kelly said.
“The products are being sold locally and primarily through sports supplement stores, which is why this is so concerning and why Canberrans need to be warned. There is a myth – particularly in fitness communities – that if used in small amounts users will be safe, but even small amounts of these substances can put your health at risk.”
Dr Kelly said ACT Health’s message to Canberrans is to beware of the products.
“These substances are banned for a reason. They pose a significant health risk and for the majority of these substances, there is no legitimate medical use,” he said. “We strongly advise users to stop taking these supplements immediately. Anyone concerned about their health should also contact their general practitioner for further advice.”
ACT Health’s investigation is ongoing, with further testing on a number of products currently underway.
If anyone has information to support this investigation, please contact the Pharmaceutical Services Section of the Health Protection Service on (02) 6205 0998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.