With the advent of the flu pandemic, the use of new chemicals to fight it is now a regular part of the medical treatment regimen.
However, new research has suggested that some of these chemicals are potentially more dangerous than previously thought.
In a new study published in the journal Nature, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that a group of chemicals known as dubois-based compounds (DBPs) had been found to cause more than half of all deaths among gay men.
While they didn’t find any link between these chemicals and gay men’s deaths, they found that they can be toxic and cause organ failure in animals.
The researchers looked at data from the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Additives Database, which allows for the tracking of compounds used to treat illnesses, and found that in 2010 there were more than 500,000 DBPs on the market, more than a quarter of which were not approved for human use.
“In the last two decades, the amount of dubis in use has increased, and the FDA has approved them for use as treatments for serious illnesses,” Dr. Mark Kramers, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, told ABC News.
Kramers is lead author of the study, which was published in Nature.
He and his team found that DBPs can cause liver damage in rats, causing them to die.
“These compounds cause organ dysfunction and death, and it’s a real problem in terms of our understanding of how these compounds affect human health,” he said.
The new findings are a wake-up call for the FDA, which has been slow to approve DBPs.
A spokesperson for the agency told ABCNews.com that DBP approvals are slow and often based on anecdotal evidence rather than rigorous studies.
“The FDA is aware of the fact that the dubio-based group of compounds in the Food Additive Database are not currently approved for use in the United States,” said Katherine T. Kromm, FDA’s deputy commissioner for science and technology.
“They are currently undergoing review by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).”
It is important that the FDA be vigilant in this regard, and that they ensure that any future use of these compounds in humans is appropriately regulated.
“Kramer said that he and his colleagues are working on a study to see if DBPs cause any adverse effects in humans.
He said that it is important for the industry to be vigilant and not use these chemicals if they are safe and have a good safety record.
“We’re concerned that they could be misused, but also that they’re not necessarily unsafe.” “
These drugs are available over the counter in many grocery stores, pharmacies, and health food stores, so people can be exposed to them in the same way they can with other drugs,” he explained.
“We’re concerned that they could be misused, but also that they’re not necessarily unsafe.”
The research has not been done in humans yet, and Kroms hopes that it will be soon.
“We need to get better at screening these drugs,” Krom said.
“It’s important to make sure that there are adequate studies and safety data, and we’re in a period of time where we’re looking at the possibility of these drugs having potentially harmful side effects.”
There are more than 50,000 dubios on the US market.