Hormone-Filled Dietary Supplement Caused Cancer In Two Men, Say Doctors

A new article published today in Clinical Cancer Research says that two men “developed aggressive and incurable prostate cancer within months of taking the same supplement.” The doctors examined the supplement and discovered it contained testosterone and estradiol, and “when they tested it on tumor cells in the lab, they found it fueled the growth of prostate cancer cells more potently than testosterone alone.” Either don’t take herbal/hormonal dietary supplements, they urge, or make sure you fully disclose to your doctor what you’re taking.

According to the press release:

The researchers began their investigation when two patients being seen by UT Southwestern doctors developed aggressive prostate cancer within months of starting daily consumption of the same dietary supplement. Both men purchased the same product, one to develop stronger muscles and enhance sexual performance, the other to gain muscle.

Dr. Roehrborn, Dr. Shahrokh Shariat, a resident in urology and the study’s lead author, and their colleagues analyzed the supplement, which is not named in the study. They found that the product’s label listed ingredients that were not present, misrepresented the concentrations of the ingredients present and failed to list all the steroid hormones contained in the product.

“”Natural” supplements caused cancer in 2 men: study” [Reuters]

RELATED
“Hormonal dietary supplements might promote prostate cancer progression” [EurekAlert]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. cobaltthorium says:

    Jesus Christ – that’s the scariest fucking thing I’ve read all week. How can they list the wrong ingredients? What the fuck???

    ???!?

  2. Chris Walters says:

    @cobaltthorium: Here’s how:

    “Unlike prescription and over-the-counter drugs, the law does not require nutritional supplements to undergo pre-market approval for safety and efficacy,” Dr. Shariat said. “The current FDA regulatory system provides little oversight or assurances that dietary supplements will have predictable pharmacological effects or even that product labels provide accurate information for consumers.”

    [www.eurekalert.org]

  3. winstonthorne says:

    Herbal supplements are not overseen by the FDA. While one can easily question the value of such oversight, it provides at least the illusion of control, which encourages manufacturers to (1)Be legitimate companies (not run out of someone’s basement) (2) Accurately list ingredients.

    One of my friends actually stuffs capsules for a living for a company making an herbal “sexual stimulant” – she literally sits there on herliving room floor watching TV, smoking cigarettes, and talking on the phone while handling (with either bare unwashed hands or many-times-reused gloves) the powder and the capsules themselves. It pays well, and her boss gets away with this because there’s no FDA control on herbal supplements AT ALL. God only knows what’s in those pills.

    By real drugs, made by real manufacturers – yes, they’re artificially lab-made chemicals and didn’t come from anything resembling “nature,” but at least labs are clean and regulated.

  4. lalala1956 says:

    I work with the FDA and can say that the agency needs “cause” in order to initiate an investigation into a supplement maker. Without “cause” the agency can’t do anything to a supplement maker.

    Very scary stuff and reason enough to never take any supplement without a doctor’s recommendation. Besides pregnant women and iron, I can’t think on many times where a normal person should be taking ANY suppplement to begin with…and no, those vitamin C and multivitamin supplements you are taking are relatively worthless.

    I bet you can’t show me a valid peer-reviewed scholarly journal article stating otherwise.

  5. pegr says:

    By real drugs, made by real manufacturers – yes, they’re artificially lab-made chemicals and didn’t come from anything resembling “nature,”

    Well, you just ignored the entire field of botany.

    No, not all “real” drugs are artificial. If fact, most drugs come from plants, not the lab.

    Which makes the whole field of “supplements” very dicey indeed…

  6. Jebus… That is Messed up! I use to take multivitamins.. but like LaLa said… they probably don’t help and I have a strong feeling that they may do more harm than good because most of them are artificially made and are hard for the body to absorb… why the F would I need 1333% percent daily value of ANYTHING?

  7. Red_Eye says:

    How utterly irresponsible not to release the name of the product.

  8. Ayo says:

    um, can we get a name of these meds?

  9. cobaltthorium says:

    ironic that supplements supposed to enhance sexual performance give you prostate cancer …

  10. winstonthorne says:

    @pegr: Absolutely correct – I should have been more clear. I was citing a reason which I commonly hear from my more…shall we say…”spiritual” friends on why they prefer herbal/homeopathic remedies to branded drugs.

    (Personally, I’d rather avoid the whole mess altogether and take as few medications/supplements as I can get away with in general).

  11. dgcaste says:

    @winstonthorne: That sounds both disturbing and disgusting. You should air out the name of said company.

  12. humphrmi says:

    @winstonthorne: Congrats, you’re on the front page! :)

  13. matt1978 says:

    @winstonthorne: How can I get that job, and does it pay decent?

  14. matt1978 says:

    @winstonthorne: How can get that job?

  15. jrdnjstn78 says:

    Eat the right foods and you don’t have to take any vitamins/supplements or herbal whatever.

    I work at a place that sells vitamins, etc. and people swear by this stuff.

    I’d rather take the cheap route and eat some delicious fruits or veggies any day.

  16. winstonthorne says:

    @dgcaste: I would but I don’t want to get her in trouble; the pay is decent and nobody who reads the Consumerist would buy from this guy’s sketchy website. It looks like an 8th grade computer class final project, and is clearly targeted toward desperate imbeciles.

  17. gregcuc says:

    My father used to rent an office to a supplement pill company. After years of being a bad tenant, bugs, and other issues they finally closed. The office was disgusting when they were there. just open jugs of random powders and no control over cross contamination. They just sat and filled pills all day with their bare hands. I’d never take it just knowing the conditions they are made in.

  18. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    I love the ones that advertise FDA permit applied for! Or Soon to be approved! Makes me want to buy a whole case of them.

  19. Saboth says:

    @Red_Eye:

    Err yeah…I frequently take creatine/protein powder, and it would be nice to know what the supplement actually was. No name needed..how about just the contents?

  20. ricopants says:

    No moral responsibility to tell the world who they are?

  21. swalve says:

    Presumably, these pills didn’t cause the cancer, only fed it.

  22. tazman says:

    >>How utterly irresponsible not to release the name of the product.
    Exactly, I agree.
    >>ironic that supplements supposed to enhance sexual performance give you prostate cancer.
    Not really. Part of science.

    Centrum and One a day are synthetic garbage that your body cannot use.
    Take a real whole food supplement like “Alive”
    from Nature’s Way. Take it for a year, and you be the judge.
    Sure there are shady companies everywhere, but why would you not study the companies who make products for safety and efficacy.

    >>why the F would I need 1333% percent daily value of ANYTHING?
    Well, if you worked in a laboratory that did thousands of test on patient blood and urine samples BEFORE any supplements and AFTER, you would see that some people need 10x to 1000x as much of a mineral or vitamin or amino acid than someone else. This is no fallacy. This is science. State of the art labs.
    Varro Tyler wrote “The Honest Herbal” and “Herbs of Choice” books. He was a world recognized Doctor of Pharmacy from Purdue University.
    Tyler was the author of more than 30 books and 350 scientific and educational articles. He had a 30-year career at Purdue University, located here, serving as the dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences and as the Lilly Distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy.
    [www.phcog.org]

    There is a lot of garbage out there.
    Calcium Carbonate is chalk…
    Vitamin E , most comes from Eastman Kodak, as they do film processing using soybean oil, they sell the Alpha vitamin E. Problem is you body needs mixed tocopherols… alpha,beta,delta,gamma …
    Vitamin C in form of Ester C is garbage.

    Should it is unregulated, but I don’t want doctors being the ones prescribing vitamins as your choice will be synthetic garbage. By the way, 50% of medical schools only require medical students to take 1 nutrition class. Pharmaceutical companies are funding the medical schools. The FDA receives 80% of its funding for testing safety of efficacy on drugs from the pharmaceutical companies.

    Also Glucosamine HCL (Hydrochloride) is garbage, while Glucosamine Sulfate is good.

    cheers,

  23. tazman says:

    Well, if you worked in a laboratory that did thousands of test on patient blood and urine samples BEFORE any supplements and AFTER, you would see that some people need 10x to 1000x as much of a mineral or vitamin or amino acid than someone else. This is no fallacy. This is science. State of the art labs.

  24. guevera says:

    About a decade ago there was a push in congress to have the FDA regulate herbal supplements. The big concern among many natural food types was that it would mean big pharma would put the local herbalist out of business.

  25. GamblesAC2 says:

    Oh Gawd Why would anyone put an Estrogen Precourser/Substraight In a supplement marketed twards men…… I mean unless those taking this suplements’s desired effect was Growing Semi-functioning man tits