Hormones and anabolics

Creative Diagnostics - Food & Feed Analysis

Hormones and anabolics

Residues of hormones and anabolic steroids in foods such as meat or milk provide a potential health risk to consumers. Creative Diagnostics offers a full list of test kits and reagents for the analysis of natural and synthetic hormones and anabolic steroids.

Hormones are endogenous biochemical messengers which are transported through the bloodstream to their target organs. These compounds are used in the production of food animals to promote growth and increase the efficiency of feed utilization and in the case of bovine somatotropin, to increase milk production. However, the use of hormones in such animals has provoked many concerns on human health impacts. A better understanding of health risks posed by the use of such drugs is essential for making proper regulatory decisions and programmers that support the prudent nonhuman use of hormonal drugs.

The EU prohibited the use of substances having a hormonal action for growth promotion in farm animals. Examples for these kinds of growth promoters are oestradiol 17ß, testosterone, progesterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate (MGA). This prohibition applies to Member States and imports from third countries alike. The legal instrument in force is Directive 96/22/EC as amended by Directive 2003/74/EC. In contrast, outside of Europe, hormones and anabolics can be legally used as fattening agents, because the local authorities assessed their usage as risk-free.

Although hormones and anabolic steroids have been banned or limited, the concentrations of the preparations are sometimes 100 times higher than the permissible legal limits. To detect the use of legal or illegal xenobiotic drugs, laboratories are required to develop extensive monitoring programs for the drug residues in meat products. The method of choice should be accurate, sensitive, specific and precise, with minimum false negative and false positive results. Recently, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) have been established as screening methods. The Creative Diagnostics ELISA kit effectively screens for growth promoter residues in meat. Applicable sample types are tissue, urine, bile and serum.

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