Food supplements adulteration with undeclared synthetic phosphodiesterase type-5 drugs (PDE-5) inhibitors Conference Paper uri icon


  • The use ofplant food supplements (PFS) in developed countries is becoming increasingly popular mostly due to the consumers' widespread idea that natural products are safer and healthier than conventional pharmaceutical drugs [l]. However, in the last years, several studies have been showing the existence of gaps in PFS regulation that can result in insuíficient quality control and intentional adulteration ofthese products [2]. Among the issues that can aíFect PFS safety, the illegal addition of pharmaceutical substances is of major concern, since unscrupulous producers can dope PFS to provide for quick effects. Supplements used for sexual performance improvement are among the most popular PFS used by males. One of the major concerns in this type of product is the possible adulteration with drugs used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, namely synthetic phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor drugs, such as sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil which are approved prescription drugs being marketed as Viagra (Pfizer, USA), Levitra (Bayer Pharmaceuticals Co., Germany) and Cialis (Elli Lilly, USA), respectively. Since these drugs can present side eífects, its illegal addition in PFS can seriously endanger consumers' health. In particular, individuais for whom conventional PDE-5 inhibitor drugs are contraindicated and consequently use food supplements as an alternative maybe at risk ifthe clandestine addition ofthese drugs occurs. In the last years, the presence ofthis type ofdrugs have been detected by FDA in the US, and reported in food supplements commercialized in Ásia, however studies regarding this issue in the EU are almost inexistent. For the presented reasons, an analytical methodology based on the use of high performance liquid chromatography coupled to a fluorescence detector in series with a photodiode array (HPLC-FL-PDA) is proposed for the detection ofPDE-5 inhibitors, namely sildenafil and its analogue acetildenafil, vardenafil and tadalaíil, illegally added to supplements used for aphrodisiac purposes.
  • to FCT (PEst-C/EQB/LA0006/2013 and EXPL/DTP-SAP/1438/2013) and QREN (NORTE-07-0124-FEDER-000069-CIÊNCIA DO ALIMENTO).

publication date

  • January 1, 2014