Dangerous yohimbine dietary supplements on sale in the US

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  • Published: Sep 23, 2015
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: HPLC / Base Peak

Dietary supplements containing yohimbine are freely available in the US despite being banned in many other countries. Yet, these products invariably display incorrect or incomplete information on their packaging, increasing risks to consumers.

Scientists based in the US analysed 49 brands of yohimbine supplements from seven major retailers using LC-UV/MS to measure the yohimbine content and found that the declared levels were invariably incorrect. This could prove vital to anyone taking the supplements because yohimbine causes some serious side effects such as chest pain, heart attack, seizures and even death.

Writing in Drug Testing and Analysis, the research team described how only 11 of the brands listed the yohimbine content on the label but this information was usually incorrect. The real levels were 23-147% of the stated concentrations. In addition, 9 of the products made no mention of the side effects.

"If safe consumption of a product requires that both accurate quantity as well as known adverse effects be provided on the label, then only 4.1% of the yohimbine supplement brands analyzed provided sufficient safety information for consumers," the researchers concluded. They laid the blame for the inadequate product labelling at the US regulatory authorities.

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