It occurred to me that no one has a complete picture of all that happened around supplements in just the last four years. So let’s attempt a chronology to get an overview.
May 2009 – Recall Of Hydroxycut
Iovate, Inc. recalls Hydroxycut and 14 similar products, after reports come in about one death and cases of liver damage.
November 2009 – Bodybuilding.com Recalls 65 Supplements
After investigation by the FDA, Bodybuilding.com recalls 65 workout supplements sold via their online store, as they are suspected of containing illegal steroids.
June 2010 – Heavy Metals In Protein Powders
US consumer watchdog Consumer Reports tests protein powders and finds high amounts of heavy metals.
August 2010 – High School Football Players Hospitalized
In Oregon, 24 high school football players have to be hospitalized with compartment syndrome after using a supplement that contained creatine without stating it on the bottle.
September 2010 – Duane Brown Suspended
Texan NFL pro Duane Brown gets suspended after using a protein supplement that unbeknownst to him was laced with a performance-enhancing substance.
December 2011 – 14-Year-Old Dies After Drinking Monster Energy
14 year old Anais Fournier dies of cardiac arrest after drinking two 24 oz cans of Monster Energy within 24 hours. The doctors rule the cause of death as “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxcity.”
January 2012 – Maker Of Hydroxycut Gets Fined
Iovate, Inc., get fined $1.5 million for making false claims about their cold remedies.
January 2012 – London Runner Dies After Using Jack3d
30 year old London runner Claire Squires dies from a heart attack one mile before the finish line of a marathon. The coroner assumes that the most likely cause of her death was supplement Jack3d.
February 2012 – Two Deaths After Using Jack3d And OxyElite Pro
Two US soldiers die from heart attacks after using OxyElite Pro and Jack3d. The US Army removes both supplements from their stores.
June 2012 – Anti-Doping Agency Warns Athletes About Craze
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tests samples of bodybuilding and workout supplement Craze and finds several prohibited substances, consequently putting it on the list of supplements it considers “high risk” for athletes.
July 2012 – Another Death After Drinking Monster Beverage
19 year old Alex Morris dies of cardiac arrest after habitually drinking Monster Energy. His family later files a wrongful death suite against the company.
September 2012 – Medial Student Dies From Fatburner
23 year old medical student Sarah Houston dies from using “slimming” pills containing DNP.
February 2013 – 17-Year-Old Dies From Same
Teenage bodybuilder Sarmad Alladin tries to lose weight by using the same “fatburner.” Shortly after, he is dead as well. At that point, medical literature attributes 62 deaths to DNP.
April 2013 – Teenager Falls Unconscious After Using Craze
A 15 year old teenager is brought to the ER unconscious and unresponsive after using bodybuilding supplement Craze.
July 2013 – Rob Riches Fails Drug Test
Not much later the supplement again makes the news, when natural bodybuilding celebrity Rob Riches fails a drug test and assumes it was due to his usage of Craze.
July 2013 – FDA Finds Steroids in Vitamin Supplements
After receiving 29 reports about adverse effects, including women missing menstruation or growing beards, the FDA conducts tests and finds steroids in products made by Purity First.
October 2013 – OxyElite Pro Involved In Hepatitis Cases
On Hawaii an outbreak of hepatitis has 29 people involved, with two needing an urgent liver transplant and one dead. The only link between them is OxyElite Pro.
January 2014 – Sensa, Inc. Fined For Deceptive Advertising
As part of their “Operation Failed Resolution” the FTC hands Sensa, Inc., the company behind the “sprinkle diet,” a $46.5 million fine.
April 2014 – 25-Year-Old Dies From Slimming Pills
In England, mother of two Katie Goard dies two hours after taking caffeine-based diet pills.
May 2014 – Amphetamines Found In Fatburner Dexaprine
In Holland, users of “fatburner” Dexaprine report chest pain, vomiting and even one case of cardiac arrest. Dutch scientists investigate and find an entire cocktail of undeclared synthetic stimulants in the supplement.
June 2014 – Teenager Dies From Caffeine Powder
An 18 year old fit and active teenager dies from cardiac arrhythmia and seizure due to using caffeine powder.
This List Is Not Complete
Keep in mind these are just the cases since 2009 and only those I’m aware of. I keep updating it, but the list likely is not complete. If you know of other incidents around workout supplements, please let me know, either in the comments or via email.
Picture courtesy of “Sandstein”.