Deadly danger: That business with the adulterated Internet pills

Deadly danger: That business with the adulterated Internet pills


As the woman finds her husband, is bathed in sweat in bed. He needs to throw up, the vomit is striking in yellow. The woman calls an ambulance. In the emergency room, the obese man is still responsive, but extremely restless. His heart is racing, he’s hyperventilating. The next Morning, he suddenly stops breathing. For an hour the Doctors fight for his life, but the 50-Year-old dies.

In his body the 2.4 is proved-Dinitrophenol (DNP) in high concentration. Legal medicine physicians found in possession of the deceased capsules with a bright yellow powder, which had ordered the Dead man in the Internet for losing weight. DNP was used in the first world war to the construction of grenades, and later as an insecticide. Today, it has been circulating as a “fat burner” in the diet, Fitness and bodybuilding scene. It forces the body to produce uncontrolled leakage of heat, in the extreme case, until they collapsed from overheating. Since 2015, the police organization Interpol, determined after several cases of death in Europe. Some online shops could be closed.

Worldwide, more than 30 deaths

Experts warn of risks by means of illegally sold diet pills, muscle building supplements, or potency pills from the net. Often put in the products are not declared, but highly effective drugs, toxic chemicals or plant extracts. “We have consumers who have slimming bought resources on the Internet and then all of a sudden dizzy spells, log in again and again disturbances or heart lawns of sleep to suffer,” says Angela Clausen, the Westphalia, in the consumer centre of North Rhine-specialty foods in the health market. Because under the flag of “food” sailing of the highly dangerous capsules, or in powder: they are sold as dietary supplements or “supplements”.

For consumers, everything is intended to enhance the diet is extremely popular: 1.44 billion euros spent between April 2017 and March 2018, an increase of ten percent compared to the same period last year, recently reported the market research company Insight Health.

Angela Clausen food expert at the Verbraucherzentrale NRW is

Many customers are looking for more than just Vitamin C or Magnesium from the drug store. You will be searching in the web for free over-the-counter diet pills, Bodybuilding powders, or potency of products and find, often on professionally designed German-speaking Websites. Be distributed to the funds but not only online, but also door-to-door or at sales parties in the circle of friends, as a secret tip “among friends” and in many cases illegal.

Because a lot of names with additions such as “Herbal”, “Natural”, “Ginseng” or “Himalayan” sound of soothing herbal extracts, or East Asian Spa. Instead, the funds are adulterated but secretly with harsh chemicals. “We have purchased a few years ago for a large study, 70 supposedly ‘natural’ dietary Supplement on the Internet. 13 of 21 slimming products, 8 of 13 potency and libido enhancing drugs and 20 percent of the athletes products do not contain licensed medicines, or stimulants such as ephedrine, amphetamine or methyl hexane amine, the doping are even partly relevant,” says Clausen. A few weeks ago, the land investigation office Rheinland warned-Palatinate, in front of slimming capsules with the innocent name “Minimal”. They contained the banned appetite suppressant sibutramine, which was taken in 2010 from the market after studies, a striking number of heart attacks had occurred. More than 30 deaths worldwide will be related.

The bright yellow Slimming DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) led to cases of death, also in Germany

Other as a food Supplement diet pills are declared to contain the illegal hunger damper Rimonabant, the increased in studies, the risk for depression, or Phenolphthalein, a cancer-suspicious laxatives. In addition, again and again, Sildenafil, better known as Viagra, are likely to be prescribed because of the risk for cardiovascular side effects, only by the doctor.

Dietary supplements need no proof of effectiveness

Also in the USA, hundreds of nutritional supplements are noticed in the past few years, with illicit drug addition. In addition, the number of the National Poison Data System (NPDS) recorded cases of adverse effects, increased by dietary supplements in the years 2005 to 2012 of almost 50 percent. In the EU-rapid alert system RASFF capsules are indications of danger through risky or Powders now on the agenda. More than 2000 eye-catching supplements have been discovered in the past few years.

“The Segment is for Criminals so attractive, because it regulated a little and just trade on the Internet is uncontrolled”, and criticized consumer advocate, Clausen. Who wants to bring a dietary supplements on the market, you must be able to demonstrate other than in the case of a drug – neither his safety nor the effectiveness, but the drug only at the Federal office for consumer protection and food safety report, and a sample pack to send. They will not be analyzed in a rule, but archived. Otherwise, the responsibility for the safety of the manufacturer or the seller. The authorities of the countries inspect only a sample of the already on the market products.

“Minimal” from the Internet contains sibutramine, which was officially taken as early as 2010 from the market

Even in the case of suspected health hazards, it does not approach the manufacturer and dealer often, when you are sitting in China, Russia or the Ukraine. Even the addresses to the German online shops often only to the letter of subjects, desolate high-rise buildings in Berlin or Basel.

“We have been demanding for long that the supplements should similar to how drugs are approved,” said consumer activist Clausen. It was not food, but even in the case of legally sold products are often isolated substances in high dosage.

If in doubt call an ambulance

If a purchased product concerns, current warnings under www.klartext-nahrungsergä as well as an extensive list under the heading of “Adulterated” on the Website of the consumer magazine “Good pills – Poor pills” (

Doctors and professional societies, keep a dietary Supplement for Healthy anyway mostly superfluous. “If you want to buy them but, you should do the better only in the stationary trade, in supermarkets, drugstores or pharmacies. Not the Internet, not on sale parties and also not under the Hand of friends,” advises Angela Clausen. Who, however, side-effects, you should contact directly the monitoring of food products in the city or in the County, to a pharmacist or to a consumer. And if in doubt, call an ambulance.