Illegal. Dangerous. Banned. AVOID These Products

667f9f7b-06fc-4e53-9211-9f7615aefda8It has recently come to my attention that dangerous and illegal products are being sold locally and online, particularly to young teens and high school athletes who want to gain muscle.

I have had a number of teens and college-aged kids ask if we carry pro-hormones or SARMs. Nutrishop Coeur d’Alene only carries naturally occurring dietary supplements that are safe, tested, and legal to sell. We have never, nor will we ever, carry these illegal and dangerous drugs that are being marketed to unsuspecting consumers as “dietary supplements.”

My biggest problem with this is that local shops have been promoting these products to young kids as a way to gain muscle. These drugs are being sold as safe to take, when in reality they are very dangerous – and illegal.

The dangers of Pro-Hormones

First, let me explain pro-hormones. These are unapproved steroids that pharmaceutical companies had abandoned and were “discovered” back in the late ‘90s. Since they were never classified as steroids, due to not going through the FDA approval process, this created a loophole for them to be sold as supplements. There was a series of bans, beginning in 2004 with Androstendione, and finally with the Anabolic Steroid Control Act signed by President Obama in December of 2014.  (https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4771/text)

This last ban made all pro-hormones illegal to sell, with a $1,000 fine PER BOTTLE on the retail level. These unapproved drugs marketed as supplements are not only dangerous, but they are illegal. These pro-hormones are typically very hard on the liver because they are methylated, and they shut down natural testosterone very quickly. This could lead to liver damage, sexual dysfunction, testicular atrophy, and mood swings.

I know other supplement store owners in California who have been sued for millions of dollars because they were selling these dangerous drugs in their stores, and were dropped by their insurance companies because they violated the terms of their policies.

The dangers of SARMS

SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. These unapproved drugs have been available on Internet “research chemical” sites for a few years. Now, shady supplement stores are putting them in pills and labeling them “dietary supplements” to sell to unsuspecting consumers. These may be even more dangerous than pro-hormones because of the potential side effects.

Virtually all the SARMs being sold in dietary supplements in the United States are done so illegally. These chemicals are unapproved new drugs being tested by drug companies – and in some cases, totally abandoned by drug companies – as prescription drugs for a variety of serious medical conditions. Some of these SARMs have been demonstrated to cause serious damage to eyesight/visual acuity in humans, a host of rapidly growing cancers in animal models as well as other, deleterious side effects. Further, it is somewhat questionable that the SARM listed on the label of the product on the shelf (or website) is what’s really contained in the bottle.

Here are the predominant SARMs being sold illegally as dietary supplements:

  • Ostarine (aka Enobosarm, MK-2866 and chemically as, (2S)-3-(4-cyanophenoxy)-N-[4-cyano-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-2-hydroxy-2-methylpropanamide))
  • Ligandrol (aka LGD-4033 and chemically as 4-((R)-2-((R)-2,2,2-trifluoro-1-hydroxyethyl)pyrrolidin-1-yl)-2-trifluoroMethyl)benzonitrile)
  • Endurobol (aka GW-501516 or Cardarine and chemically as 4-[({4-methyl-2-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-1,3-thiazol-5-yl}methyl)sulfanyl]-2-methylphenoxy}acetic acid)
  • Andarine (aka S-4 and chemically as 2S)-3-(4-acetamido-phenoxy)-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-N-(4-nitro-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-propionamide)

The other real problem is that a lot of these SARM-containing products are being sold openly between the multivitamins and protein on the shelves of the local sports nutrition store. So there is an assumption by the consumer, even if it’s a bad and incorrect assumption, that these SARM-laced products are 100-percent legit, legal, FDA-approved and safe. The implications, therefore, are that these are all perfectly OK to sell and use as Dietary Supplements, like a multivitamin or creatine. That is absolutely not the case here.

While many sports nutrition stores, like Nutrishop, have educated and ethical employees who possess Nutritionist Certifications, many stores just hire big guys out of the gym. Some of these salespeople are exceedingly muscular and ripped.

So it’s not uncommon for a 16 year-old high school football player to come into such a store, see this type of guy and think, “If only I was as big and strong, I could be a starter at outside linebacker for the high school team!” And now that high school football player would test positive for SARMS, which are very well known by every athletic sanctioning body around the world, and SARMS are now part of the doping protocol athletes are subjected to.

Are taking SARMS and Pro-Hormones worth sexual dysfunction, liver damage, or losing a scholarship over? We don’t think so.

We only carry naturally occurring, safe and legal supplements at Nutrishop Coeur d’Alene. We will never risk the health of our customers just to make a quick buck. We will do meal planning and InBody testing, and design a healthy, safe plan to get the results that you or your high school athlete wants. Your health will be intact and you will keep all of your gains.