Simon Lauder reported this story on Monday, January 14, 2013 08:15:00
TONY EASTLEY: The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a safety warning about a popular bodybuilding supplement which it says is a serious health risk.
The TGA says the supplement combines very high levels of caffeine with two undeclared substances which should be prescription only.
Health experts have raised concerns about the level of regulation of the supplement industry, which is adept at marketing mysterious and untested combinations of substances to bodybuilders.
With more here’s Simon Lauder.
SIMON LAUDER: Albuterex Xtreme Formula comes with a written warning – “not for the undedicated, must be taken with extreme caution”. That hasn’t harmed its image among bodybuilders, some of whom have recorded their reaction and posted it online for the world to see.
BODYBUILDER 1: Whoa, my heart’s beating really fast. Yeah, it’s really good.
BODYBUILDER 2: When I start to approach one scoop I get the occasional headaches. Albuterex makes you sweat like crazy.
SIMON LAUDER: Now the Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a warning about Albuterex Xtreme Formula, saying it poses a serious risk to health and should not be taken.
The TGA says Australians have been buying it online and its working with customs and border protection to stop any more of it coming in.
Accordingly to bodybuilders who’ve used Albuterex, it’s a very popular product.
BODYBUILDER 3: And Australia, cause it’s just huge over there, but after trying it myself, whoa, it is intense. Like I’m finding it hard to do this review right now and I’m really struggling. I’ve literally tried to record it 10 times. Like if foaming at the mouth is a good description, I’m foaming at the mouth. It’s that intense.
BODYBUILDER 4: Albuterex is absolutely off the chain. People is going absolutely nuts about it.
SIMON LAUDER: The TGA says Albuterex Xtreme Formula contains very high levels of caffeine and the undeclared prescription substance yohimbine. It also contains the undeclared substance theophylline.
The federal president of the Australian Medical Association, Steve Hambleton, says that’s the active ingredient in many asthma treatment drugs.
STEVE HAMBLETON: But we’re actually using less and less of this product because of the problems with side effects. We’ve seen cardiac arrhythmia, we’ve even seen seizures with this product. If you add caffeine to that mix, you already got a problem with seizure potential. This product and exercise is not safe. It does raise the concern what is in the rest of them and how much regulation are we seeing in this area.
SIMON LAUDER: Sports dietician, Gary Slater says the supplement industry is particularly good at marketing.
GARY SLATER: A vast majority of the added ingredients really offer very little apart from a potential marketing edge. Yohimbine is sometimes used as a testosterone precursor with the presumption that taking that would help to further increase someone’s testosterone levels, but the reality is that the literature doesn’t support that.
SIMON LAUDER: Gary Slater says there are some useful products on the market but working out which ones are effective and how to use them safely is probably beyond most bodybuilders.
GARY SLATER: There are so many products that are coming on the market, I think the best way would be to look towards regulating the supplement industry a little bit more so like the food industry, so that any claims that are made, are backed up by very good scientific evidence.
TONY EASTLEY: Sports dietician, Gary Slater, ending that report from Simon Lauder.