German scientists say spinach chemical should be banned from sports

Jun 27, 2019

Scientists at the Freie Universität Berlin have recommended that ecdysterone, a steroid-like chemical found in spinach, be added to the list of banned doping substances, German media reported Tuesday.

The university's Institute of Pharmacy led a 10-week strength training program with 46 athletes to test how the substance affected their physical performance.

Some of the participants were given placebos, others were given ecdysterone capsules containing the equivalent of up to 4 kilograms (or 8.8 pounds) of raw spinach a day. 

During the study, which was supported by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), those taking the supplement saw their physical strength increase three times as much as their placebo-taking counterparts.


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