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Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill. 2012;5(1):29-32. doi: 10.1080/19393210.2012.656706. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Determination of PDE-5 inhibitors and appetite suppressants in adulterated dietary supplements using LC/PDA and LC/MS.

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a College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University , Seoul , Republic of Korea.


There have been a number of reports of dietary supplements contaminated with illegal adulterants that threaten consumers' health because of their adverse pharmacological effects. In the present study, a convenient and economic method was developed to detect illegal pharmaceutics, such as PDE-5 inhibitor and appetite suppressants, using liquid chromatography (LC)/photodiode array (PDA) for screening and LC/mass spectrometry (MS) for successive confirmation. Target peaks were identified by comparison of their chromatographic retention times and PDA spectra with those of synthetic standards and finally confirmed by LC/MS. As a result, tadalafil, a PDE-5 inhibitor, and N-desmethylsibutramine, a derivative of sibutramine, were detected in various dietary supplements at concentrations of 13.5-21.9 mg and 3.0 mg per single dose, respectively. The present study will contribute to the development of an analytical method enabling rapid screening of a variety of health foods, and the result suggests that consumers should be aware of serious health risks related to these illegal compounds.


LC-PDA; LC/MS; N-desmethylsibutramine; dietary supplements; sibutramine; sildenafil; tadalafil

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