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Posted July 26, 2013

Safety of Certain Weight Loss and Bodybuilding Supplements Called Into Question

On July 25, 2013, USA Today reported that several supplements, including weight loss, body building and sports nutrition supplements, have come under scrutiny after being found to contain illegal ingredients, or were associated with failed drug tests and adverse events. The report focuses on supplements created by an individual named Matt Cahill, including pre-workout energy supplement Craze, bodybuilding supplements Superdrol and Rebound XT, and 60 DPN diet pills.

Cahill, who does not have formal education in chemistry or dietary supplement formulation, first sold Superdrol in 2004 under the company name Designer Supplements. Superdrol was found to contain the synthetic steroid Methasterone - a drug that had never previously been used for human consumption. Superdrol was also sold under a license agreement by another company, Anabolic Resources, in 2005. The FDA issued a warning about Superdrol in 2006, noting that synthetic steroids are associated with risks such as liver injury, adverse effects on blood lipid levels, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. The substance was also listed as a banned substance by the World Doping Agency in 2009. Superdrol, sometimes listed as Methasterone, has been found in a number of other products despite being banned by the FDA.

(See's Review of Muscle Enhancers for tests of related products.)

In 2002, a teenager died after taking an intentional overdose (about 12 pills) of "60 DNP" diet pills, sold by another of Cahill's companies, Designer Labs. The pills were found to contain dinitrophenol, a toxic chemical pesticide banned for human use.

(See's Review of Weight Loss Supplements for tests of related products.)

Cahill began selling pre-workout energy supplement Craze under a new company, Driven Sports, in 2008. Samples tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012 found it to contain several prohibited stimulants, amphetamine and amphetamine related compounds. However, the company claims that its own tests did not reveal the presence of amphetamine and a 2012 class action lawsuit against Driven Sports was dismissed after a lab report submitted by the plaintiff showed no evidence of amphetamine.

Although controversial, Craze remains a best-selling supplement and has been nominated for's 2013 Pre-Workout Supplement of the Year.

Another lawsuit was brought against Cahill in August of 2012, alleging that the "anti-estrogen" bodybuilding supplement Rebound XT contained a drug known as an aromatase inhibitor. This supplement has since been discontinued.

See Related Warnings:

Testosterone Booster Supplement Recalled for Containing Synthetic Steroid

Recall of Body Building Supplements Containing Steroids

Steroids Found in More Body Building Supplements

Recall of 65 Dietary Supplements That May Contain Steroids

FDA Warns About Steroid Products Sold as Dietary Supplements

To read USA Today's article, use the link below.