According to the product label for the dietary supplement, Mass Destruction, the bodybuilding supplement contains at least one synthetic anabolic steroid, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. Anabolic steroids are known to increase serious liver and other injuries.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services advised the FDA of one serious Mass Destruction liver illness. In this case, a 28-year-old man was diagnosed with liver failure, requiring a liver transplant after only a few weeks of taking Mass Destruction. According to the agency, it is analyzing the ingredients used in the supplement.
Marketing material for Mass Device indicates that the product is a “dual compound prohormone” that contains 17a-methyl-1,4-androstadiene-3,17diol 13.33mg (M1,4ADD) and 18-Methylestr-4-en-3-one-17b-ol 20mg (18 Nano), Medical Daily reported. Prohormones are anabolic steroids and precursors to hormones. The substances are also processed by the liver and raise bad cholesterol levels, headache risks, risks for hypertension (high blood pressure), and dizziness. Often, body builders will recommend taking supplements known as “cycle support” aids when taking prohormones because of their known liver risks and to avoid or minimize potential liver damage, according to Medical Daily.
Prohormones are dangerous to all of the body’s major organs and may cause serious and long-term damage, Medical Daily reports; the FDA indicates that steroid-like substances and anabolic steroids increase liver injury risks. “Products marketed as supplements that contain anabolic steroids pose a real danger to consumers,” said Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Injuries linked to these substances, including symptoms of liver damage, are:
- Liver failure
- The need for liver transplant
- Unexplained fatigue
- Abdominal pain, back pain
- Discolored urine
- Adverse effects on blood lipid levels
- Increased risk of heart attack, stroke
- Masculinization in women
- Testicle shrinkage
- Breast enlargement
- Male infertility
- Short stature in children
Although the Mass Destruction label indicates that Blunt Force Nutrition of Sims, North Carolina, manufactures the product, an FDA investigation is in progress to identify the manufacturer, as Blunt Force Nutrition has not been located and has not responded to inquires. The supplement is sold in retail stores, fitness gyms, and on the Internet.
Americans spend about $32 billion annually on dietary supplements and, just about half of all Americans take dietary supplements—most take more than one supplement at a time—, according to a recent report by The New York Times. A prior FDA report indicated that some 70 percent of dietary supplement companies do not follow basic quality control standards that would help prevent product adulteration.
About 55,000 supplements are sold in the United States, the Times wrote. Of these, just 170—0.3 percent—have undergone studies that sufficiently reveal common side effects, said Dr. Paul A. Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a dietary supplement expert, according to the Times. “When a product is regulated, you know the benefits and the risks and you can make an informed decision about whether or not to take it…. With supplements, you don’t have efficacy data and you don’t have safety data, so it’s just a black box,” he added.