Dangerous hidden ingredients are a growing problem in advertised bodybuilding products, warns the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consumers may unknowingly take prescription ingredients, controlled substances, and other ingredients. Bodybuilding supplements often contain anabolic steroids, modified versions of male hormones designed to increase muscle mass.
In recent years, there has been an increase in liver damage from bodybuilding supplements. Bodybuilding products are the most common cause of liver damage associated with herbs and supplements.
Products containing BMPEA or DMAA stimulants can cause serious health problems. For example, supplements labelled as having the herb Acacia Ridula often contain BMPEA, although BMPEA is not found in the herb, nor is it a dietary ingredient.
Products containing DMAA sold as dietary supplements are illegal. In 2013, the FDA began removing these products from the market. However, DMAA is still found in some products sold as supplements, even under other names such as geranium oil.
Some dietary supplements may interact with medications or other supplements. Some vitamins and minerals are harmful in large doses. Talk to your doctor before using a bodybuilding or endurance supplement.