Store-Bought Supplements: Are They Safe?

Store-bought supplements may contain more than you bargained for.

An English lab recently purchased 58 "best-selling" supplements commonly used by male and female athletes. After extensive testing they found 25 percent contained small amounts of steroids, and 11 percent contained the stimulant ephedrine.

Both "Andro" and ephedrine are illegal in the U.S. Testosterone boosters were the most contaminated, followed by weight loss products and muscle building products.

Studies conducted several years ago came to the same conclusion, which lead experts to say supplement contamination is still an issue. Researchers say improper cleaning of equipment used to make supplements may be causing contamination.

They also say raw materials imported from Asia, India and eastern Europe may be contaminated. The researchers did not disclose which brands they tested or where they bought them.

Results were as follows:
- 67% of the testosterone boosters tested contained steroids and/or stimulants.
- 29% of weight loss products contained steroids and/or stimulants.
- 24% of muscle building products contained steroids and/or stimulants.