07-26-2002, 07:03 AM #1
Andro companies getting sued!!!! AST, Weider, etc.
TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- Attorneys in six states are filing lawsuits Thursday against several manufacturers and distributors of a dietary supplement they allege is falsely marketed as an alternative to anabolic steroids .
The product is called androstenedione, more commonly known as andro. The attorneys are seeking class-action status for the suits.
First appearing on the U.S. market in 1996, andro became widely known two years later when then-St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire admitted he used the product. McGwire garnered nationwide attention as he pursued the home-run record held by the New York Yankees' Roger Maris in 1961.
According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, androstenedione, better known as andro, is a dietary supplement. Andro occurs naturally in the body but is not a part of the diet.
Twenty companies who manufacture and/or sell androstenedione products are named in some or all of the lawsuits, which are being filed in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, California and Colorado, according to Vincent Lynch, plaintiffs' co-counsel. A seventh suit is expected to be filed soon in Illinois.
The suits, which also allege these companies are committing fraud because andro does not work, are being filed on behalf of all people who have bought andro products from the companies.
One of the defendants, AST Sports Science Inc., had "no comment at this time" about the suits, a spokesman said.
"We have more than 20 plaintiffs already," according to John Goldsmith, a partner in the Trenam Kemker law firm, which is filing a suit in West Palm Beach.
Lawyers said they hope more plaintiffs will join in the legal action.
According to the suits, the companies claim their andro products "are effective at promoting muscle growth, are legal and are proven to be effective."
-- Andro is considered a dietary supplement.
-- Dietary supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
-- Andro converts to testosterone in the body.
-- Testosterone is a federally controlled substance.
"We believe the makers and sellers of andro are caught in a Catch-22," Lynch said. "If andro works, they are criminally liable, and if andro doesn't work, they are liable for civil damages."
Several studies have said that andro does not lead to higher testosterone levels or increased muscle growth when used according to direction labels.
A study conducted at Iowa State University and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999 found no difference in muscle strength or testosterone levels in men taking 300 milligrams of andro daily vs. men taking a placebo.
Another study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2000, said that taking andro does not promote muscle growth or increase strength.
Dr. Craig Broeder, lead author of that study and director of the Human Performance Lab at East Tennessee State University, said his research shows that taking andro leads to much higher estrogen levels in the body, not higher testosterone levels.
It is not illegal to sell androstenedione, and it is considered a dietary supplement, which the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate.
But some physicians say andro is more than a dietary supplement.
"It's a steroid ," said Gary Wadler, a New York sports physician and member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the U.S. representative to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Androstenedione is a naturally occurring steroid hormone, which can be found in men and women alike.
Andro is a precursor, or just one step removed from being testosterone.
In the body, "andro turns into testosterone, and testosterone turns into estrogen," Wadler said.
"If you take the amount of andro as listed on the labels, which are picked arbitrarily, it likely won't do a whole lot," he said.
The key is the dose and frequency, Wadler said.
He said those in the "steroid and supplement culture believe more is better" and consequently take more than labels may recommend.
"If you take more and much more of the recommended dose," Wadler said, "and many people do, it does raise the testosterone level in the body."
Some of the testosterone may possibly cause muscle growth. But too much in the body can lead to problems.
Excess testosterone will convert to estrogen in men, which can cause them to have enlarged breasts, higher voices and experience testicular atrophy (they stop producing testosterone on their own).
Women with too much testosterone will find their voices get lower and experience excess hair growth, disrupted menstrual cycles and diminished breast size.
Researchers also have found that andro users had decreased levels of so-called "good cholesterol" or LDL.
Another study found that the contents of an andro pill from one manufacturer can vary widely from product to product.
In addition to AST Sports Science, the other defendants named in some or all of the suits include Impact Nutrition Inc., Natural Supplement Association Inc., Cytodyne Technologies Inc., General Nutrition Cos. Inc., Twin Laboratories Inc., Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Bodyonics Ltd., Genetic Evolutionary Nutrition LLC, Kaizen Inc., Met-RX USA Inc., Natrol Inc., Mass Quantitities Inc., Muscletech Research and Development Inc., Muscletech Inc., Vitamin World Inc., Basic Research Ltd. Liability Co., Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc., Nutraceutics Corp. and Weider Nutrition International Inc.
08-01-2002, 01:48 AM #2New Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2002
- seattle wa
sue them all
08-02-2002, 11:27 PM #3New Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
When this suit comes to Illinois I think I may get on board. I was young and stupid and used the stuff, and all I got was some nice estrogenic effects.
08-03-2002, 02:04 PM #4
While I think most supps are crap, I still hate to see some lawyers sue them for a bogus lawsuit. If we get critical of every product on the market, we will soon have nothing left to buy. My household cleaner doesn't always get the stains out, my deoderant doesn't work 12 hours after a trip to the gym, I think you get my point. Andro may not be the "steroid alternative" that it claims to be, but I've taken it, and it did give me some effects at the standard dosage. Nothing like gear, mind you, but there was something. I guess we should get rid of Creatine, Chromium, Protein supps, Ephedra, and just about every other product we use. They all make some kind of claims, but we know that most of the hype is just marketing. Just another case of a law firm looking to cash in on some multi-million dollar lawsuit.
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