The FDA has just issued a consumer warning to avoid the vitamin B supplement, Healthy Life Chemistry by Purity First B-50, after preliminary lab tests found that it contains anabolic steroids.
The supplement, manufactured by the New York-based company Mira Health Products Ltd, contains methasterone, a steroid categorized as a controlled substance, as well as dimethazine, which is composed of two steroids bound by a nitrogen atom.
These steroids do not appear on the supplement’s ingredient label, and were only discovered after the FDA received 29 complaints of people experiencing symptoms including muscle cramps, fatigue and liver and thyroid trouble after using it.
Women also reported missed menstrual cycles and abnormal hair growth, and men reported low testosterone and impotence after taking Healthy Life Chemistry by Purity First B-50. According to the FDA, several people have been hospitalized, but luckily, no deaths have been reported.
FDA regulators are urging anyone who has used this supplement and experienced symptoms to seek medical attention and report their symptoms.
Howard Sklamberg, director of the FDA’s compliance office, stated, “products marketed as a vitamin but which contain undisclosed steroids pose a real danger to consumers and are illegal.” The use of steroids has been linked to liver and kidney damage, as well as blood clotting disorders including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Mira Health Products Ltd has so far issued no response to the FDA’s warning. While vitamins and other supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and are not checked pre-release unless they are using a new ingredient, the FDA does have the legal right to pull supplements off the shelves.
Cases like this one cast a shadow of uncertainty over all commercial supplements. Unless they are from a company we truly trust, how can we really know what is in them? Fortunately, in most cases, we can get the vitamins and minerals that we need from eating healthy, organic foods.
The B vitamins, for example, include B6, B12, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin and pantothenic acid. They are essential to helping the body use the energy that it receives from food optimally. Organic, dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, contain B6, thiamin, riboflavin and folate. Free-range chicken and wild-caught fish, such as salmon, contain B6, B12, riboflavin and niacin.
B12 is also found in grass-fed beef. Biotin and pantothenic acid are found in a wide array of foods, including cage-free egg yolks, avocados, wild-caught salmon, lentils and organic sweet potatoes and broccoli.
If you do choose to (or need to, due to a health condition) take a vitamin or herbal supplement, do as much research on the manufacturer as possible. Ideally, choose a company that has many good references from satisfied and healthy customers – that you or your friends know personally, not references paid by the company to promote them.
The case of Healthy Life Chemistry by Purity First B-50 is just another example that what we do not know can hurt us, and stresses the importance of being as informed about what we are putting into our bodies as possible.
-The Alternative Daily