In the wake of a three-year investigation into Bodybuilding.com and six guilty pleas to charges of distributing misbranded drugs, a new study out Wednesday links liver damage with dietary and bodybuilding supplements.
A review of national health data found that approximately 18 percent of liver injuries in the United States are caused by various forms of supplements, mostly for weight loss and increasing muscle mass.
"The number of cases in our network has increased over the years," said Jose Serrano of the National Institutes of Health. "There were no deaths, but 7 percent of patients needed a liver transplant. These are not trivial consequences."
The report does not claim to make causal relationships between liver damage and the use of the supplements but urges further research on the link between them.
The report indicated that up to 40 percent of people in the United States use related supplements.