Background: The illegal virtual market for food supplements facilitates fraud and adulteration.
Worldwide concern for consumer safety is growing on the part regulatory agencies, healthcare
professionals and consumers.
Objective: This work aimed to evaluate the presence of sexual stimulants and anabolic steroids commonly
used in the adulteration of dietary supplements through the development of a high performance
liquid chromatography with the photodiode array detection (HPLC-DAD) method for the identification
and quantification of these compounds.
Methods: The mobile phase composed of an ammonium acetate solution, acetonitrile and methanol led
to the efficient separation of vardenafil, testosterone base, testosterone propionate, tadalafil, sildenafil
Results: The assay was linear (r2> 0.999), precise (RSD% <0.5), accurate (99.1 to 105.2%), and the
limits of detection and quantification were less than 0.05 and 0.15 μg/mL, respectively. Four samples
of dietary supplements contained testosterone (n=1), tadalafil (n=2) and yohimbine (n=1) as adulterants.
The adulterants found were in subtherapeutic doses, probably to reduce possible adverse effects
and the action expected to appear natural. Since about 80% of adverse drug reactions are dose dependent,
unpredictable adverse drug reactions are dose independent and based on idiosyncratic or allergic
mechanisms or intolerance.
Conclusion: The developed method is convenient and easily applicable for adulteration detection of
the analyzed drugs in the multicomponent supplements.