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New Doping Agent Banned: Dietary Supplement Tagged as Illegal Substance in Sports

Update Date: Apr 08, 2016 05:27 AM EDT

The World Anti-Doping Agency considers oxilofrine as a doping agent and had banned it from sports. Oxilofrine is stimulant that raises blood pressure and increase heart rate. It is also use as a prescription drug for low blood pressure.

According to Health Day, oxilofrine was banned from using for dietary supplement in competitive sports. The stimulant were found in 14 supplement sold in the United States. Banned products listed the substance on their label under the alternative name of methylsynephrine.

Experts say that the outcome of the study raised more questions about the loose regulation of dietary supplements in the United States.

Numerous athletes have been suspended after they undergo drug testing. They claimed that they didn't know that they ingested oxilofrine through supplements.

According to Dr. Peiter Cohen, "So it's been known since at least 2009 that dietary supplements may contain oxilofrine." Cohen is the lead researcher of the study and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Cohen said that there is a "definitive proof" as he reported their findings last April 7. "This really raises the question, what is the FDA doing?" Cohen said as he refers to the Food and Drug Administration.

According to FDA spokesperson, they send a warning letter to some manufacturers that listed methylsynephrine on their labels. FDA also said that the manufacturer fails to meet the specific definition of a "dietary ingredient."

The manufacturers were given 15 days to take their products into compliance with the law. Food and Drug Administration doesn't consider the oxilofrine as a drug and it is a substance with stimulant-like effect, according to Lynday Meyer.

Cohen says that no one knows what the real effect of the stimulant is or what it could give to a healthy person.  He said that it is a synthetic version of ephedra that FDA banned from dietary supplement due to serious problem like heart attack and stroke.

According to Live Science, the study discovered that people who followed the instruction on the label could reach 75 milligram of oxilifrine in a single dose, almost 250 mg per day. The supplement that contains oxilofrine combined with other stimulant may cause rapid heart rate, cardiac arrest and chest pain.

Cohen also said that the supplements may send tens of thousands of Americans to emergency room per year. Food and Drug Administration said they receive 47 reports of adverse effects linked with oxilofrine-containing supplements.

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