Purchasers of the vitamin B supplement, Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50, are being warned the product may contain anabolic steroids.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received almost 30 complaints of averse incidents associated with the supplement, including cases of fatigue, muscle cramping and muscle pain.
Some women who took the product reported unusual hair growth and missed menstrual cycles, while some men reported impotence and low testosterone. Lab tests also found abnormal liver and thyroid function, and cholesterol levels linked to using the product.
Lab tests by the FDA revealed the vitamin may have included the steroids methasterone and dimethazine, which weren't listed on the product's label.
"Products marketed as a vitamin but which contain undisclosed steroids pose a real danger to consumers and are illegal," Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a July 26 statement.
The supplement is manufactured by Mira Health Products Ltd. of Farmingdale, N.Y., and is sold on various websites and in retail stores, according to the FDA. The agency added that Mira Health Products Ltd. declined to issue a voluntary recall of product or to warn its customers about the risk. This may result in legal action including, seizure, injunction, and/or criminal prosecution.
Consumers and doctors should report any adverse reactions from the product to the FDA's MedWatch program.
"Consumers using Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 who experience any of these symptoms should consult a health care professional and report their experience to the FDA," according to the agency.
The National Institutes of Health says taking anabolic steroids has been linked to health problems like acne and cysts, breast growth and shrinking testicles in males, voice deepening and body hair growth in women, aggressive behavior, and increased risk for heart attack and other cardiovascular problems, liver disease and cancer.
The FDA adds kidney failure, strokes and blood clots -- including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis - are also potential side effects.
The NFL Players Association alerted players to "immediately discontinue use" of this product, NBC Sports reported. Players may fail a league drug test because they are responsible for the supplements they put in their bodies.
Vitamin B can be found in proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy products and some leafy greens and vegetables.
The vitamin helps the body make energy from foods you eat, and also aids in the formation of red blood cells. Not getting enough of certain B vitamins can cause diseases like anemia.