European agencies highlight high levels and banned substances in supplements.

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Food safety authority European food safety Liver Codex alimentarius

European authorities have informed the EU of a number of dietary, food and sports supplements that contain either ingredients that exceed permitted levels or unauthorised substances. 

The Danish Food Agency has recalled Chili Burn New Nordic, a supplement that claims to target weight loss by boosting the body’s metabolism.

The Agency concludes that the product is harmful to health because of its content of the Epigallocatech chelate (EGCG) substance derived from green tea.

While there is evidence for green tea’s health metabolic, cardiovascular and cognitive benefits, there have also been concerns over toxicity at high concentrated levels.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have received notifications of adverse events linked with EGCG, largely concerning liver damage.

Other side effects, including elevated liver failure, jaundice, nausea, weight loss, fatigue and fever have been reported in people taking dietary supplements with green tea extract.

Fenioux Laboratories’ Desmodium

Meanwhile, in another case Spanish officials have noted the presence of unauthorised substances, mephedrone, cathinone and norephedrine in a food supplement from France.

The supplement, Desmodium, produced by Fenioux Laboratories claims to support liver function helping to remove unwanted substances from the body.

The active ingredient, Desmodium adscendens​, is a botanical traditionally used for its ability to help normalize elevated liver enzyme levels as well as used to ease muscle, tendon, and spinal pain and allergic symptoms.

Issue surrounding the ingredient’s potential toxicity came to light after an in-patient hospitalisation in Italy, apparently for consumption of this product.

The Spanish Agency for Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition has informed all relevant authorities, through the National Food Alert Network (SCIRI).

Musclepharm Assault MP

Finally, The National Food Chain Safety Agency (NÉBIH) in Hungary have been notified of a pre-exercise supplement that exceeds permitted nicotinic (niacin) levels.

German authorities reported Musclepharm Assault MP’s discrepancy and NÉBIH were informed through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the EU) about the incident.

Musclepharm Assault MP is available online in Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, the Netherlands and Hungary and is aimed at bodybuilders.

The multi-flavoured food product is described as a pre-exercise supplement that enhances performance, improves stamina and mental concentration.

German authority examinations revealed that the supplement’s makeup meant users would consume 25.9 milligrams (mg) nicotinic acid per day, with a daily dose of 178.5 mg nicotinic acid per 100 grams (g), or 14.5g.

This significantly exceeds the tolerable upper intake level for nicotinic acid of 10 mg per day set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2014.

Nicotinic acid has also shown efficacy in enhancing muscular energy. Its vasodilatory qualities, means the body is able to increase of oxygen delivery and nutrients to muscle tissue.

Nicotinic acid is thus considered an effective muscular recovery agent for this reason.

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