BALTIMORE (WJZ)–More than a dozen college football players are hospitalized—all suffering from muscle damage. One of those players is from Baltimore, and his father—a local football coach—wants to know what happened.

Kai Jackson explains the case is now under investigation.

An investigation is underway to determine what made the players sick. Yet the manner and number that became ill is raising concerns about supplements.

A scare for players on the University of Iowa football team and their families. Thirteen athletes went to the hospital after what’s being described as an intense workout.

Now doctors believe the players came down with a condition known as rhabdomyolsis.  

“Rhabdomyolsis happens when you have a breakdown of the muscle tissue,” said Dr. James Williams, St. Joseph Medical Center.

Williams says rhabdomyolisis combined with dehydration and the possibility of supplements is dangerous.

“You have muscle breakdown from intense workouts. You have dehydration and then supplements which are nephrotoxic are damaging to the kidneys directly. That’s a perfect storm for kidney failure,” Williams said.

One of those players is from Maryland. Jim Poggi is a linebacker for the Hawkeyes. His father Biff coaches Gilman’s football team where Jim once played.

“Obviously when your son’s admitted to the hospital that’s concerning,” Biff Poggi said.

It’s unclear whether the football players were actually taking supplements. An investigation will have to make that determination.

Experts say those who use creatine and other supplements are taking a risk.

“We can’t guarantee the effect of supplements. We don’t even know if they even work, but we do know they’re dangerous,” said Mike Gimbel, Powered By Me.

The players are doing well and responding to treatment. Overall muscle soreness and dark-colored urine are a couple of the symptoms they suffered.

The Iowa Board of Regents is giving the university 90 days to complete its investigation into the incident.

Comments (203)
  1. Vinny says:

    This has almost zero to do with supplements. Rhabdomyolisis is being seen more now due to imprpper training. Programs like P90X and Crossfit are responsible for many rhabdomyolisis cases in the ER now. The military is rampent with these cases. The solution is to learn how to work-out properly, recover properly, and good nutrition. It’s my opinion that 95% of people , including trainers, have lost sight of some very basic principles. If you take HGH and steroids out of the picture, most would have no gains at all as they simply do not know how to train properly.

  2. Hpollowell says:

    My 8 year old son was hospitalized for rhabdomyalysis. It was ultimately a virus.

    Are they jumping to conlusions here?

  3. Cynic says:

    There has been an association observed between rhabdomyolisis and pomegranate juice consumption, especially where statins or some other medications are also being taken. In some cases pomegranate juice seems to have brought on rhabdomyolisis very swiftly ( 2 or 3 weeks after drinking it began).

    Health lesson in the story: Be cautious about health food/drink/supplement fads.

  4. NBC Vic Hern says:

    Musings from an old Pharmacist………..
    To much protein, amino acids in the blood will tend to plug up
    and slow down kidney function.
    If muscle tissue is breaking down too quickly causing pain, the
    tendency is to reach for the NSAIDS ibuprofen and naproxen more
    often. Taking therapeutic doses of NSAIDS will also slow down the
    kidneys. The combination can easily lead to dangerous kidney shut down.
    Be careful when you supplement and work out too hard and too often.

    1. NBC Vic Hern says:

      Musings continued……….
      If indeed statins are introduced to this scenario, major
      problems are predictable.

  5. Chris says:

    It’s Bushes fault!

  6. Chris says:

    Now mertosexual and female legislators will ban what common supplements were used by the boys. Another example of what is wrong with the USA.

  7. Bill Sorenson says:

    According to the MAYO clinic there is a correlative possible. Read what REAL experts say and then decide.

    1. bill3b23 says:

      Bill, perhaps if you read everythign posted, they also suggest possible benefits for memory loss, heart surgery, etc. As with all substances, there are risks, which they outline. The same risks can be said for any nutrient. Just as an example, the Mayo Clinic website lists dangers from Vitamin D toxicity. Does this mean it should not be taken either? Effects all depend on does, as well as individual tolerances. As somebody else posted, water has caused death. It happened at a Marathon within the last few years that somebody was over hydrated, which caused levels of electrolytes too low for proper function, leading to death. You are just as bad as all the other people on here that present one sided theories without having any ACTUAL knowledge. When you study health, physiology, or even pick up a decent research journal, come back and comment.

  8. Htos1 says:

    Doesn’t matter,brain dead pols are going to come in and make things much worse,it’s what they do(with a little help from displaced commie friends post 1991)

  9. famca says:

    A memo to the “creatine is safe” crowd. Tryptophan is a natural substance that was marketed as a mood relaxer and sleep inducing agent some years ago. It was supposed to be safe, and thousands of people were said to be users. Then a few people died, and tryptophan was taken off the market.

    People back then said typtophan was safe in spite of the deaths – basically the same thing they’re saying about creatine now. But go ahead and keep taking it. Or selling it, if that’s what you’re doing.

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