The total sale of dietary supplements in Norway has increased over the years. Sales of supplements with additive substances have also increased in recent years and has reached more than 50 percent of the market of sports products, energy drinks, and some other foods.
Examples of additive substances are fatty acids, antioxidants, caffeine, amino acids, carnitine, coenzyme Q10, glucosamine, melatonin, pro-and prebiotics.
Mattilsynet points out that there is a high risk in consumption of these substances with strong physiological effects, such as ephedrine, synefrin, sibutramine, steroids and hormones.
“They can cause serious injury and even death. Type and extent of health damage, however, depends on the substance in question, “writes Norway’s Food Safety Agency in its assessment.
Talking to VG, head of Mattilsynet, Meredith Steen stated that the current regulation is inadequate, and does not provide consumers with enough protection.
– I do not know whether someone has died because of the supplements in Norway. But we are concerned that people should be aware that there may be health risks associated with using these supplements. Therefore, we are keen to get a good and adequate regulation, said she.
In a letter to the Ministry, the agency writes: “The level of competence within the industry is highly variable, and there is an impression that many producers are operating in this market without sufficient expertise. In summary, there is a relatively high risk of seriuos injury after ingestion of products containing additives.