New Dietary Supplement Story: OxyElitePro

I learned about this at Forbes. But I guess I should have learned about it in the NEJM.

from this piece at Huffington Post

A popular diet supplement has caused an outbreak of severe liver disease, sickening nearly 100 people in 16 states since it was first reported in Hawaii last year, according to a new paper. The publication calls for a better system to remove dangerous supplements from the market.

Final score in the aegeline scare:

  • 97 cases
  • 47 hospitalizations
  • 3 liver transplants
  • and 1 death

And from the Department of This is Too Crazy to be Fiction:

I’m going to need to explore this paragraph in a few slides when I give my next talk:

And the agency has its work cut out for it: potentially dangerous supplements are widely available. More than 500 supplements have already been found to be adulterated with pharmaceuticals or pharmaceutical analogues, including new stimulants, novel anabolic steroids, unapproved antidepressants, banned weight-loss medications, and untested sildenafil analogues. In 2013 alone, researchers discovered two new stimulants in widely marketed supplements. My colleagues and I identified a new analogue of methamphetamine, N,α-diethyl-phenylethylamine (N,α-DEPEA), in a popular sports supplement. 3 FDA scientists discovered another stimulant, β-methylphenethylamine (β-MePEA) — a novel analogue of amphetamine — in nine supplements. 4 N,α-DEPEA and β-MePEA have never been studied in humans, and their adverse effects are entirely unknown; yet they are sold as “natural” products without having undergone any premarketing testing for safety. (Although supplements containing N,α-DEPEA were voluntarily withdrawn from the market, supplements containing β-MePEA remain widely available.)