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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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Illegal Ingredient, 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin, Appearing in More Supplements

pile of white oval tablet pills on a green background with shadows overlaidReflecting a past and current trend of ingredients being added illegally to dietary supplements, athletes and others subject to anti-doping rules are advised that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added the ingredient 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin to its Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List. The purpose of this list is to warn consumers about ingredients that appear to be unlawfully included and marketed in dietary supplements.

 

What is 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin?

5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin is often marketed in dietary supplements as a plant-based anabolic agent. However, this is false advertising. While it is related to the plant steroid laxogenin, there are no reports of the 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin derivative being detected in or isolated from any natural source.

5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin has been on USADA’s radar for some time because it’s frequently listed on labels of products that also happen to be contaminated or spiked with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). On the Supplement 411 High Risk List, for example, eight products list laxogenin on the label. Of those eight products, four of them also listed a prohibited substance on the label, while the other four tested positive for an undeclared (unlisted) stimulant, anabolic steroid, or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM).

On supplement labels, 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin could be listed in a variety of ways, including 5-laxogenin, 5-alpha-laxogenin, or by the chemical name. It is possible that some companies are using the term “laxogenin” as code for a hidden (undeclared) PED.  

Is 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin prohibited in sport?

Currently 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin is not prohibited because it doesn’t meet at least two of the three World Anti-Doping Code criteria for inclusion. There is unclear evidence showing that it has performance-enhancing effects in humans. However, if new data or information becomes available that shows 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin enhances performance, the World Anti-Doping Agency may change the status of this ingredient immediately.

Can 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin legally be sold in dietary supplements?

No. The FDA does not have enough safety information about this ingredient to declare it a legitimate dietary ingredient and have therefore added the ingredient to its Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List.

Are there health effects associated with 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin?

The safety of 5-Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin is unclear because the ingredient hasn’t been tested in humans. However, there are two more good reasons to avoid this ingredient:

  1. It might indicate the presence of an undeclared PED in a product.
  2. The FDA considers it unlawful in dietary supplements.

 

More questions?

For questions about specific products, substances, and methods, contact USADA’s Drug Reference Line at drugreference@usada.org or call (719) 785-2000, option 2.

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