LGC’s supplement testing service is a risk management tool designed to help manufacturers identify and manage the potential contamination of their products with substances that are considered to be prohibited in sport. While LGC’s supplement testing is designed to increase consumer confidence by assuring consumers that a product has been analyzed for a broad range of substances that are banned in sport, LGC does not perform label verification testing and LGC test results should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product. Consumers are advised to always check the labeled ingredients before use of a product and to raise any labeling queries direct with the product’s manufacturer.
Informed Choice tests products/ingredients for a range of substances that appear on the WADA Prohibited List, as well as lists from organizations such as the AFL, NRL, NFL, NCAA, and MLB. Substances may be included in the testing specification for a number of reasons, including:
- They are/were sold as a supplement (e.g.. androstenedione, DHEA)
- They have been reported as a contaminant in a supplement (e.g.. 19-nor-androstenedione, stanozolol)
- They have been the subject of widespread publicity linking them with adverse analytical findings and/or supplements (e.g.. THG, nandrolone)
- They are widely available as a recreational drug and are potentially at a higher risk of being a contaminant (e.g.. cocaine, ecstasy)
- They have been reported as an adverse analytical finding (e.g.. clenbuterol, strychnine, salbutamol, terbutaline)
- They are chemically closely related to any of the substances above (e.g.. isomers, parent drugs, etc.)
The range of substances tested for is reviewed regularly against current knowledge and intelligence, and is updated as necessary. It includes but is not limited to substances such as anabolic agents, narcotics, stimulants, beta-2-agonists, and diurectics.
The Informed Choice program uses LGC to carry out its supplement analysis. LGC has been testing supplements/ingredients for banned substances since 2002 and tests over 13,000 samples each year. The standard supplement screening test covers 200+ substances that are prohibited in sport. Additional substances can also be tested for on request.
Methylhexaneamine: Since 2010, a number of nutritional supplement products have been implicated in disciplinary hearings associated with doping violations for the compound methylhexaneamine. As part of the Informed Choice program, all registered products undergo rigorous testing, which includes analysis for methylhexaneamine, along with a wide range of other prohibited compounds. Athletes, coaches, and manufacturers alike, can have the confidence that screening procedures have not identified methylhexaneamine within ANY products certified on the Informed Choice program.
Citrus aurantium: Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) is a plant derived ingredient that is used in a number of foods, including some nutritional supplements. Bitter orange naturally contains the stimulant synephrine as well as small amounts of octopamine. Currently, octopamine appears on the WADA list of stimulants that are prohibited for athletes to use in competition. Synephrine, however, is part of the WADA monitoring program. In addition to identifying the presence of octopamine within products containing Citrus aurantium, screening tests performed by LGC have indicated the presence of octopamine within a wide range of natural 'orange based' food products including freshly squeezed orange juice, marmalades, orange squash, etc. These products should not pose a doping risk to athletes. LGC is working closely with sports authorities and advisors to ensure that supplements and foods containing bitter orange do not pose an undue risk to an athlete when consumed as directed and as part of a normal diet.1
IGF-1: LGC does not routinely test supplements or supplement ingredients for the presence of IGF-1, as peer-reviewed scientific publications indicate that IGF-1 is not absorbed via the gut following oral ingestion.2,3
Androstenedione: The test sensitivity for anabolic steroids in the standard LGC supplement screen is 10 ng/g (10 ppb). Androstenedione is known to be naturally present in milk and milk-derived products. The concentrations of androstenedione found in milk are variable, but are typically in the low ng/ml (low ppb) region. One reference cites values of around 3.5 ng/ml. For this reason, the presence of androstenedione in milk or milk-derived supplement products and/or supplement ingredients analyzed using the standard LGC supplement screen is not reported unless the concentration exceeds 50 ng/g (50 ppb).4
1Thevis, M., Koch, A., Sigmund, G., Thomas, A., Schänzer, W. Analysis of octopamine in human doping control samples. Biomed. Chromatogr. 2011
2Kuipers, H., et al. Effects of Oral Bovine Colostrum Supplementation on Serum Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Levels. Nutrition 2002, 18:566-567.
3Mero, A., et al. IGF-1, IgA and IgG responses to bovine colostrum supplementation during training. J. Appl. Physiol 2002, 93:732-9.
4Gaiani, R., et al. Androstenedione and Testosterone Concentrations in Plasma and Milk of the Cow throughout Pregnancy. J. Reprod. Fert. 1984, 70: 55-59.