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New Test To Identify Illegal Steroids In Cattle

Date:
March 1, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In an effort to curb the illegal use of steroids in the European beef industry, scientists are reporting the development of a new test that can identify steroids with higher accuracy, more convenience, and less cost than conventional doping tests. 

Scientists have developed a better test for identifying illegal steroids in cattle.
Credit: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

In an effort to curb the illegal use of steroids in the European beef industry, scientists in the United Kingdom are reporting the development of a new test that can identify steroids with higher accuracy, more convenience, and less cost than conventional doping tests. 

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In the new study, Rodat Cunningham and colleagues note that the European Union banned use of growth-promoting agents in cattle. However, widespread abuse of steroids continues and remains difficult to detect, they say. The standard methods for detecting steroid abuse —mass spectrometry and gas chromatography — involve directly measuring these substances in cattle. But the tests are expensive and can’t detect some of the newer steroid hormones.

The scientists describe a new test that measures steroids indirectly based on chemical changes associated with growth and muscle development in steroid-treated cattle. Using a commercial blood analyzer commonly found in hospitals, the researchers measured 20 chemical markers, including proteins and cholesterol, in cattle treated with and without commonly used steroids over a 42-day study period.

The new test detected the steroids with accuracy between 91 and 96 percent. The study opens the door to on-site steroid testing with portable instrumentation, the researchers say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cunningham et al. Feasibility of a Clinical Chemical Analysis Approach To Predict Misuse of Growth Promoting Hormones in Cattle. Analytical Chemistry, 2009; 81 (3): 977 DOI: 10.1021/ac801966g

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New Test To Identify Illegal Steroids In Cattle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218224442.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, March 1). New Test To Identify Illegal Steroids In Cattle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218224442.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Test To Identify Illegal Steroids In Cattle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218224442.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

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