In what has all the hallmarks of a purely political decision that is about as medically misguided as can be, the United Kingdom is strongly considering controlling the non-hormonal fat loss / immune system boosting supplements 7-keto DHEA and 7-hydroxy DHEA under the misuse of drug act of 1971. Without going into the exact legal details, this essentially means that in the UK these natural supplements (which are not anabolic or androgenic) will be as illegal to possess as potent anabolic steroids like nandrolone, testosterone, and dianabol.
In case you are not aware, 7-keto DHEA is a very popular ingredient that is patented by a company called Humanetics. It was originally submitted for FDA approval as a drug and as part of this process it underwent extensive safety and efficacy clinical trials. Eventually, Humanetics decided to forego marketing the ingredient as a drug and offered it as a supplement instead. Due to the overwhelming amount of expensive research they did on the ingredient (in cooperation with FDA protocol) they received no objection to its sale as a supplement. The research they funded un-equivocally demonstrates that the ingredient is NOT an anabolic steroid, does NOT share any of the pharmacology or toxicity of anabolic steroids, and is safe and effective for stimulating fat loss in humans.
So why on earth would the UK suddenly decide that it (and its close cousin 7-hydroxy DHEA) should be classified as an anabolic steroid? Perhaps the fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just recently added it to their banned substance list – coupled with the fact that London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics – has something to do with it. As a matter of fact, a published government memo just about confirms that this is the case.
The UK government has an agency called the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). They apparently help decide policy on everything from libraries and museums to fashion and of course sport. They have been put in charge, as far as I can see, of making sure everything is “hunky dory” for the upcoming Olympic games. At their behest, another agency called the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) took it upon themselves to carefully review the WADA list of prohibited substances. I suppose they think that the WADA list serves as a valuable harbinger – alerting them to the presence of dangerous drugs that should be controlled. Well apparently when they caught sight of the addition of 7-keto DHEA and 7-hydroxy DHEA as new additions to the WADA category of anabolic steroids they took notice. Certainly in this special year of 2012 they have to act to bring UK law in line with the olympic anti-doping policy….lest they leave themselves open to worldwide scandal or something.
Unfortunately they seem to be giving essentially zero consideration to the science and instead appear to be on a path to a rapid kneejerk ban for the supplement ingredients.
“The ACMD has carefully considered the potential physical and social harms of 7-
hydroxy DHEA and 7-keto DHEA and advises that these are commensurate with
other Class C drugs. The ACMD therefore advises that they are controlled under the
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in Class C and as Schedule 4 (IV) substances under the
Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, so as not to preclude legitimate use on
Please give me a break. They gave no consideration to the science. If they did they would find absolutely nothing to support that these natural substances possess potential for physical harm of any significance. And as far as social harm goes, I don’t even know how to address that. Perhaps they find dangerous to the state the idea of people using nutritional supplements to possibly improve almost every facet of their health (which, if you read the research these substances have the potential to do).
In my opinion, this was nothing but the shameful act of some bureaucrats motivated simply by short term political gain. These people were either too lazy to research or just outright unconcerned with scientific facts. What a terrible disservice to the citizens of the United Kingdom. I am glad I live in the USA.