Science for the People: Sports Science

sftpThis week we’re exploring the ways that science and technology are changing sports, on and off the playing field. We’ll speak to journalist Mark McClusky about his book Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes – and What We Can Learn from Them. We’ll also get the scientific perspective on sports supplements with Dr. Bryan Chung, founder of Evidence Based Fitness.

*Josh provides research & social media help to Science for the People and is, therefore, completely biased.

When Supplements Work? “Sexual Health” dietary supplements like Viagra more than 60 year old investment bankers

The FDA has announced a voluntary recall of the “sexual health” (ie, erectile dysfunction) dietary supplement ACTRA-Sx 500 due to “adulteration” with the active compound from Viagra, sildenafil citrate. This is yet another recall of a “dietary supplement” that happens to be adulterated with a pharmaceutical that has been proven to treat the condition the supplement claims to address. This might make the supplement “work”, but it poses a real hazard to customers who are not permitted to know what they are taking. Continue reading “When Supplements Work? “Sexual Health” dietary supplements like Viagra more than 60 year old investment bankers”

Please don’t put industrial strength bleach in the butts of autistic kids

Sadly, we live in a society where we need to tell people not to do this. The industrial strength bleach (sodium dichlorite solution) called Miracle Mineral Solution or MMS previously came to our attention as a “treatment” for Crohn’s disease, as well as everything else from HIV to colds. Now it is being marketed as a “treatment” for autism via oral administration, baths, and enemas.

MMS treatments cause side effects like discomfort, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting (these are the one’s its proponents advertise) with no evidence that it is an effective treatment for anything other than being comfortable and not having diarrhea. Fortunately, there is something you can do to help. Emily Willingham has started a petition to ban the sale and use of MMS as a treatment for autism (read the whole petition below).

The claims made by MMS are duping concerned parents into torturing their children, who are not in a position to understand why mommy and daddy are hurting them. Continue reading “Please don’t put industrial strength bleach in the butts of autistic kids”

RegenArouse (When Supplements Work?)

Real drugs, with real physiological activities, have very real side effects. As a result, some drugs cannot be safely taken by some individuals with underlying conditions or who are taking other, incompatible medications. When “nutritional supplements” contain undisclosed drugs, potentially dangerous side effects and interactions cannot be avoided.  Individuals that cannot take a drug due to underlying risk factors may be more likely to be customers for these alternative treatments, placing them at even greater risk. To err is human. To have an undeclared drug in your supplement that happens to cause the same therapeutic effects claimed for your supplement is anything but divine.

The latest supplement to run afoul of the FDA’s “if you product contains a drug, it is a drug” rule is RegenArouse, a supplement for erectile disfunction, which was found to contain tadalafil. Continue reading “RegenArouse (When Supplements Work?)”

X-Hero and Male Enhancer (When supplements “work X)

Shockingly, two “dietary supplements” for male enhancement have been found to contain active ingredients that happen to treat erectile dysfunction. Effectively, these products are unannounced and unregulated versions of Viagra (X-Hero) and Cialis (Male Enhancer), both of which have risks of negative interactions with other drugs. These interactions can only be avoided if individuals are aware that they are being exposed.

FDA lab analysis of X-Hero found the product contains sulfosildenafil, the analogue of the active ingredient of an FDA-approved drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), making X-Hero an unapproved drug. In addition, FDA analysis of Male Enhancer sample found the product contains tadalafil, the active ingredient of an FDA-approved drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), making Male Enhancer an unapproved drug.

The products pose a threat to consumers because they may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates. ED is a common problem in men with these conditions, and they may seek products to enhance sexual performance.

FDA Medwatch (emphasis added)