Most undisclosed substances found in the tested products were themselves experimental. (iStock)
Many bodybuilding products sold online are mislabeled and contain unapproved drugs and other ingredients that may not be safe, a new study suggests.
Researchers tested 44 products they bought online that were marketed as nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), which mimic the effect of testosterone and help build muscle.
Overall, only about half of these items actually contained SARMs, the study found. One in four products contained ingredients that weren't on the label, including potentially dangerous drugs, and 59 percent had more or less than the advertised amounts of certain ingredients.
"Our findings show that people should be extremely careful about using these unapproved drugs purchased over the internet not only because these drugs can have harmful effects on their health, but also because the labels cannot be trusted and many products may contain other chemicals not listed on the label whose safety is unknown," said study co-author Dr. Shalender Bhasin of Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
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