Estrogenic endocrine disruptors present in sports supplements. A risk assessment for human health

Monika Plotan, Christopher T Elliott, Caroline Frizzell, Lisa Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Sports supplements are becoming a regular dietary addition for consumers who view such products as a means of improving their health and performance. Previously estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EDs) were detected in 80% of 116 sports supplements investigated by biological in vitro reporter gene assays (RGAs). The aim of this study was to quantify the hormonal activity in 50 of these sports supplement samples using a validated estrogen RGA and perform an exposure and risk assessment for human health. Results showed that 17β-estradiol equivalent levels were higher than those reported as being present in the typical human omnivore diet in 33 of the sports supplements and higher than the acceptable daily intake (ADI) in 13 of these products. The highest activity samples presented a potential to influence the human daily exposure to 17β-estradiol like activity in various risk groups with a predicted hormonal impact of greatest concern in young boys and postmenopausal women. In conclusion, consumers of sports supplements may be exposed to high levels of estrogenic EDs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalFood Chemistry
Early online date11 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Analytical Chemistry


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