FDA Warns Consumers About Proto-Steroids Marketed As Nutritional Supplements

You should avoid nutritional supplements that claim to have steroid-like effects, no matter how many flames are pictured on the label. Earlier this week, the FDA sent a warning letter to Americell-Labs, the manufacturer of many popular lines of such supplements, and also warned consumers to stay away from the products. The “supplements” claim to act a little too much like steroids, and should be tested and sold as drugs if they are, y’know, drugs. If they’re anabolic steroids, they shouldn’t be sold at all.

And it’s hard to argue that your product is being sold as a “supplement” when it makes claims like these:

• “The compound in HMG-Xtreme™ binds to muscle androgen receptors causing increased protein synthesis rate while also binding muscle stem cells causing them to become activated. Together these two anabolic actions increase potential muscle repair and growth.”
• “Besides the anabolic effect, HMG-XtremeTM is a tissue specific estrogen blocker. This means that HMG-Xtreme™ only binds to 17B-estradiol receptors in certain tissues such as mammary (breast). This can significantly reduce and/or even reverse gynecomastia caused by temporary elevations in estrogen.HMG-Xtreme™ specifically blocks estrogen in mammary (breast) tissue resulting in reduced size, even shrinking the tissue to pre-gynecomastia levels.”

The best part of the FDA letter compares product labels with the warning labels.

Additionally, your website contains claims that “TREN-Xtreme,” “MASS Xtreme,” “AH-89Xtreme,” “HMG Xtreme,” “MMA-3 Xtreme,” “VNS-9 Xtreme,” and “TT-40-Xtreme” minimize or are free from certain side effects, such as “No Estrogen Conversion,” “decreases estrogen production,” “without a lot of unwanted androgenic effects,” “No Hair Loss,” and “No Acne.”

At the same time, the products all contain “WARNINGS” similar to the following:

WARNING: Consult a Physician before using this product if you have, or have a family history of, prostate enlargement/cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, kidney, liver, or hormone problems or if you are using any other dietary supplement, prescription or OTC drug. Exceeding recommended serving may cause adverse health effects. Possible side effects include acne, hair loss, facial hair growth (women), aggressiveness, irritability, and increased levels of estrogen. Discontinue use and call a Physician immediately if you experience adverse events.

Side effects reported to the FDA include serious liver injury, stroke, kidney failure, and pulmonary embolism. So, yeah, don’t use these products.

(Also, check out the company’s flame-tastic official Web site.)

FDA: Stop using body-building products that make steroid-like claims [Consumer Reports Health]
Americall-labs.com VMG Global Inc 7/27/09 [FDA]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.