Terra Sigillata

Yet another example in today’s press about dietary supplements contaminated, intentionally or accidentally, with prescription or unapproved drugs – in this case, anabolic steroids showing up in about 20% of supplements tested.

I was asked by a major news organization if this is the first time that anabolic steroids have been found in supplements. Nope, look at this FDA action from March 2004 or March 2006.

Ugggh, this is a very old story that I’ve discussed here many times, mostly relative to erectile dysfunction supplements:

Potentially life-threatening adulteration of erectile dysfunction/sexual performance-enhancing supplements

Is that a bottle of herbs in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Zencore Tabs: Keeping More Than Sales Up

However, prescription pharmaceuticals show up quite often in herbal and dietary supplements.

The question is whether the FDA’s “good manufacturing practices” requirements will ever change the frequency of these adulteration cases.

If I’m getting “posting fatigue” about these cases, you readers must also no longer be surprised about herb/supplement adulteration.


  1. #1 Ian Musgrave
    December 6, 2007

    Very timely, I’ve just come back from a conference with a special symposium on natural and herbal medicine, and just this point was raised. Fortunately in Australia, herbals are regulated as medicines, making it harder for adulterated supplements to get through (not impossible though, just harder)

  2. #2 Macnerdzcare
    December 17, 2007

    in asia countries all supplements are not regulated.

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