The murky world of bodybuilding supplements just got murkier with news that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen – mixed in dietary supplements and used by bodybuilders to prevent and treat gynaecomastia (breast swelling) caused by anabolic steroid use – is being sold as a bodybuilding dietary supplement!
The researchers purchased four samples of a dietary supplement called ‘Esto Suppress’ and analysed its contents. Tamoxifen was found in three out of the four samples at different concentrations. The product label suggested a dosage of two capsules a day. ‘In the past, a growing number of off-the-shelf food, herbal, or dietary supplements – aimed at gym goers and people wanting to lose weight or enhance their sex lives – have contained pharmacologically active substances,’ claimed Dr Michael Evans-Brown of Liverpool John Moores University in Britain.
These include anabolic steroids, erectogenics (to stimulate erections), stimulants, appetite suppressants and anxiolytics (to treat anxiety). Often the substances are not listed on the labelling and products may be marketed as ‘natural,’ said the study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). ‘Most users would be unaware that they are taking these unhealthy substances,’ added Dr Brown.
Quick-fix weight loss products, treatments and services: Do they work?
Weight loss pills
Most weight loss pills work on the principle of appetite suppression. They affect a region of the brain called hypothalamus which regulates your appetite. Another type is those that are prescription fat blockers which inhibit an enzyme called lipase. Normally, when we eat food with fat in them, the lipase breaks down the fat when it enters the intestinal tract, but with the inhibitor, a per cent of the fat is removed from the body through bowel movements instead of being absorbed. Other fat loss pills are simply loaded with a lot of caffeine which gives you an impetus to burn fat by working out for longer periods (I’ve tried them myself and you can work out for three hours straight without feeling tired, however they are harmful in the long run and very addictive).
Why they don’t work: Most fat loss pills don’t work because their effects wear out the moment you stop taking them. Also, they need to be supplemented with regular diet and exercise (the supplements need to be supplemented, the irony isn’t lost here), in a sense they’re catalysts rather than miracle pills, and unless you watch what you eat and workout, they won’t work. In the long run, people who use them, develop tolerance and the drug stops being of any effect.
Dangerous side-effects: Side-effects vary from person to person and the drug used. Expert nutritionist Shilpa Mittal has seen many clients scammed into using these products, ‘Most pills are either suppressants or stimulants that hinder the absorption of fat into your body. Subsequently, they can also hinder the absorption of other essential nutrients and vitamins. They’ve also been known to increase the heart rate, blood pressure and cause other gastrointestinal side-effects like constipation,’ she said. They can also cause heavy sweating, insomnia, mood swings, headaches and anxiety.
Update: DNP or 2, 4 Dinitrophenol has been the news for causing two deaths in the UK. In the last two months we have come across news about two youngsters in the UK who passed away after taking DNP – a popular weight loss drug among bodybuilders. The first was an 18-year-old Indian student who was an avid bodybuilder and the second a 23-year-old medical student who was suffering from bulimia – an eating disorder.
Despite being banned in the 1938 the yellow pills are available widely on the internet and very popular with the bodybuilding community. The drug is yellow and odourless and was earlier used as a herbicide and fungicide. It was launched as a slimming aid in the 1930s but was promptly banned due to side-effects. Depending on the amount consumed, symptoms vary from nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, palpitations and could even lead to coma and death.
These two deaths show how dangerous weight loss pills can be and why you shouldn’t consume them in the hope to shed weight quickly.
Source : The Health Site