Consumers should avoid using the muscle-growth supplement Tri-Methyl Xtreme due to reports of liver damage, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned. The agency said that the supplement, which is sold by Las Vegas company Extreme Products Group, claims to contain anabolic steroids that can trigger serious health consequences. The FDA began investigating the issue following reports of injuries in California, New Jersey and Utah.
Tri-Methyl Xtreme users should seek medical attention if they experience symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, abdominal or back pain, discolored urine or other unexplained changed in their health.
Tri-Methyl Xtreme is sold as a dietary supplement, but claims to contain anabolic steroids. Dr. Charles Lee of the FDA drug center’s office of compliance said that anabolic steroids “may have a range of serious adverse effects on many organ systems, and the damage may be irreversible,” Wall Street Journal reports. The FDA cautioned that these chemicals can negatively impact cholesterol levels, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, cause masculinity in women and lead to testicle shrinkage.
There has been growing criticism of the dietary supplement industry recently due to mounting safety concerns. Unlike drugs, supplements do not need to be shown as safe or effective before they are sold. The products are essentially assumed to be safe until a health issue arises. Supplements are not allowed to contain prescription drug ingredients.
Recently, a study led by Harvard Medical School professor Pieter A. Cohen found that many supplements listing acacia rigidula as an ingredient actually contain BMPEA, a substance similar to amphetamine. The FDA had studied this issue in 2013, but would not name the products; Dr. Cohen took issue with this and therefore conducted his own research.
The FDA stated that it “prioritizes enforcement actions based on available resources and the level of safety concern identified, but the agency faces the challenge of having limited resources to monitor the marketplace for potentially harmful dietary supplements.”
These are not the only issues facing the supplement industry, The office of the New York Attorney General Eric Schneider looked at herbal supplements from certain major retailers and found that only 21 percent contained plants that were advertised.