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Contamination of nutrition supplements

Cross contamination of supplements has been in existence for a very long time.


As long ago as the 2004 Athens Olympic Games studies have shown that about 1 in 4 supplements were contaminated with doping substances that would have resulted in a doping violation.



But as our knowledge has improved, has the rate of cross contamination during production improved? To some extent, knowing about the problem has helped but recent studies show that the problem is still prevalent. Poor quality control and even misleading labelling are 2 factors were highlighted. So although many supplements meet the high standards, some do not.


Contamination of nutrition supplements with doping substances

It is now well known that supplements can be contaminated with doping substances and can result in adverse analytical findings and positive doping tests. 

To ensure no cross contamination is very expensive and time consuming. Manufacturing equipment either have to be dedicated to the one product or producers need to ensure the processing equipment is cleaned to the necessary standards before producing other product types. Think about food manufacturers who state on their packaging that the product may have some traces of nuts. 





New evidence has also shown that the make-up of some supplements have been adjusted to increase their effectiveness. 

Feedback from athletes tell researchers that between 40 and 70% of athletes use supplements. Researches have also concluded that between 12 and 58% of all supplements may contain banned substances. 

Ultimately athletes are response for what they take. There is no defence against cross-contamination or incorrect labelling. 

Can you anything to reduce the risk? Our advice would be that taking this risk is not worth it. Good nutrition planning will be more than sufficient. 

If an athlete wishes to take a risk then he/she would probably look at more respectable companies and reputable brands. But even products that carry laboratory approval certification have been mislabelled leading to athletes being banned.


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