BfArM and BfR warn: Exercise caution when buying muscle-building products
The Federal Institute for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (BfArM) and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) advise caution when purchasing and using products recommended for rapid and exaggerated muscle building advertised on the Internet or in newspapers. Studies by regulatory authorities in Germany have shown that some products sold on the Internet as food additives contain anabolics that were not, however, listed in the ingredients. The male sex hormone testosterone or substances with similar action are considered to be anabolics. The group of anabolics also includes those substances which are used the most frequently for doping purposes. An increase in muscle mass is countered by different, in some cases severe side effects of the anabolics.
Anabolics are highly efficacious hormones. They have various effects on the human organism. The taking of these substances over longer periods or at high doses can lead to liver disorders, disruption of the body’s salt status, acne and aggression. In men they also promote cancer of the prostate. There is a risk of testicular atrophy (shrinking of the testicles) and infertility. Women may be prone to masculinisation. In the case of growing children a premature fusion of bone growth cartilage with a cessation of growth is possible.
In Germany preparations of this kind and anabolics are not authorised as medicinal products for increasing muscle mass. They are not marketable as food additives. Products purchased on the Internet are not subject to any form of quality control by the official regulatory authorities. There is, therefore, a risk that consumers are being misled about the actual composition of these products and their properties, including the risks.
BfArM and BfR advise consumers who want to take muscle-building products to find out the exact composition from the manufacturer or distributor. If they are in any doubt or if the information is unclear, they should refrain from taking products of this kind.