ew York men who buy the over-the-counter “natural” sex supplements at bodegas across the city are putting their health at risk for bedroom benefits that aren’t guaranteed.
The capsules, which sell for $5 to $10, promise increased sexual stamina and bigger penis size — but not all of these products are all natural or safe, the FDA says.
Yet despite the risks, New Yorkers still admit to taking the pills.
“I didn’t want to look like a schmuck and underperform,” said a Queens man in his early 30s who used the products twice in the past two or three years.
“It’s a lot of pressure for a guy, you know?”
Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School compared New Yorkers who buy the mystery sex pills to “human guinea pigs.”
“It’s one thing to get a prescription drug but it’s another thing to get an entirely new drug, never tested in humans, much less in mice, on the streets of New York,” said Cohen, author of the study, “Adulterated Sexual Enhancement Supplements: More than Mojo.”
“The FDA has already identified 400 products that are spiked with prescription medication,” Cohen said. “There’s a large fraction, one third, that they don’t even recall.”
Even at recommended levels, these knock-off prescriptions — most created in overseas labs without quality control — create grave risks for unsuspecting men, especially those with prior health conditions.
The Queens man said he tried Extenze, a mass produced all-natural supplement said to require multiple daily dosages for a reaction.
He said he didn’t feel any different.
A second product only gave him something like an uncomfortable heat flash, he said.
“It’s more of a placebo, I think,” he said. “There was not like, ‘Oh my God; I’m a rocket right now!'”
Bodega clerks said their sky-high sales suggest otherwise.
“People come in and buy them all the time,” said a lower East Side bodega worker, who refused to give his name. “I think they work because people keep coming in for them.”
A Daily News survey of stores found one product previously banned by Canadian authorities and another that appeared in an FDA warning in June.
SX Male Enhancement, recently purchased in Woodside, Queens, was recalled in 2010 by Health Canada for containing a substance similar to the prescription-only erectile dysfunction medication, Sildenafil.
And at one Forest Hills bodega, a clerk said the most popular male-enhancement pill is MaxTreme Zen, which was alerted by the FDA last month for containing similar prescription drugs.
The men who buy it constantly come back for more, the store owner said.
And the FDA is “very concerned,” the agency said.
“Dietary supplement manufacturers themselves are responsible for ensuring that products are safe and that any claims about their products are properly substantiated,” the FDA said in a statement.
Users do tend to ignore health risks, even when they’re aware of them.
“You don’t know what you’re taking,” said the Queens pill popper. “But that was an afterthought. I thought, ‘OK well, it’s not going to kill me.'”
Source : Daily News