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Sport supplement health warning

Wednesday July 25th 2012

Banned sports supplements can lead to heart problems, kidney failure and seizures, drug regulators have warned.

Illegal supplements that purport to stimulate muscle growth or increase energy can contain harmful substances, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned.

Two Brighton men became extremely sick after using the supplement Celtic Dragon, according to an MHRA spokesman.

Medics thought one of the men would need a liver transplant because he was in such poor condition.

The young men - a teenager and a man in his early 20s - were taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital with severe jaundice and liver dysfunction symptoms in March. Since then they have recovered fully.

The MHRA is launching a new program to alert people against buying banned sports supplements as a result of finding 84 products on the market that contain harmful substances, including hormones, stimulants and steroids.

It is requesting major suppliers of supplements to turn over their products for analysis, particularly those substances that contain Ephedrine, Synephrine and Yohimibine. Side effects of these substances include kidney failure, seizures and heart problems.

"People need to be aware that buying illegal sports supplements can seriously damage your health," said David Carter, the MHRA's borderline medicines section manager.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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