Two Texas-based dietary supplement companies have recently recalled several dietary supplement products containing illegal anabolic steroids. Hardcore Formulations has “voluntarily” recalled Ultra-Sten (methylstenbolone) and D-Zine (dymethazine) on July 6, 2017. And Andropharm has “voluntarily” recalled Sten Z (methylstenbolone) and M1 Alpha (methyl 1-AD) on July 12, 2017.
The companies recalled the synthetic steroid products shortly after they received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations. The letters informed Hardcore Formulations President Anthony Ventrella and Andropharm Chief of Operations Derek Curtiss that the products in questions are “represented as dietary supplements on their labels and other labeling” but “do not meet the definition of a dietary supplement”. In reality, the “following ingredients listed on your product labels are synthetic steroids and do not constitute dietary ingredients”.
- Ultra-Sten: Methylstenbolone (2,17a-Dimethyl-17b-hydroxy-5a-androst-1-en-3-one)
- D-Zine: Dymethazine (17b-hydroxy-2a, 17b-dimethyl-5a-androstan-3-one-azine)
- Sten Z: 2,17a-Dimethyl-17b-hydroxy-5a-androst-1-en-3-one and 17b-hydroxy-2a, 17b-dimethyl-5a-androstan-3-one-azine
- M1 Alpha: Methyl-1-Etiocholenolol-Epietiocholanollone
Sports supplement companies have historically promised to sell customers supplements that are as just as powerful and just as effective as anabolic steroids but they always failed miserably. The claims of steroid-like gains from supplements that “feel like Deca” never seemed to live up to their promises. That is, until supplement companies stopped trying to sell legal supplements that purported to work like steroids and simply started selling real anabolic steroids that were the genuine article.
The problem was that these supplement companies weren’t really selling dietary supplements. They were selling illegal orally-active anabolic steroids masquerading as “dietary supplements”. It didn’t matter the least bit to bodybuilding consumers. They were happy to have access to powerful muscle-building drugs. The legality of the “supplements” was none of their concern. The legal risk was an issue for the supplement companies to deal with.
And dozens of supplement companies were more than willing to violate to compete for a share of the bodybuilding market. After all, they couldn’t really compete with the burgeoning black market for anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids were everywhere and easily accessible via the Internet and cheaper than they had been in decades. Why would anyone waste their money on expensive supplements when cheap anabolic steroids like Testosterone, Dianabol, Deca, Trenbolone, Masteron and Primobolan were readily available?
The U.S. government slowly but surely started cracking down on these companies. The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 (DASCA) was intended to stop companies from selling synthetic steroids by escalating the penalties for companies who dared to sell anabolic steroids masquerading as dietary supplements. DASCA was effective to a large degree. Of course, a few supplement company owners were still willing to take the risk defy DASCA by continuing to sell illlegal synthetic steroids. But one by one, these companies are being forced to pull their steroid products from the shelves of supplement stores around the country.
Ironically, this may be the best thing possible for bodybuilding consumers. The synthetic oral steroids sold as dietary supplements were almost always, with few exceptions, far more dangerous than the traditional oral steroids sold on the black market. There were good reasons that these synthetic steroids were never marketed and sold as pharmaceutical drugs. They were simply too liver toxic.
Traditional oral steroids like Anadrol, Anavar, Dianabol and Winstrol are far safer choices than the synthetic steroids that flooded the dietary supplement market. Ironically, the government’s crackdown on the synthetic steroid supplement market has made the marketplace safer for consumers but not in the way it intended. The crackdown won’t stop consumers from using steroids, it will simply push them to the black market for steroids. Normally, this would be a bad thing. After all, who would have thought that using illegal oral steroids purchased from an unregulated black market would be safer than using illegal oral steroids purchased from a semi-regulated legal supplement market?