FDA Issues Warning About Popular Stimulant DMAA
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Last week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning about the stimulant dimethylamylamine, or DMAA. This comes after several medical researchers have discovered that the stimulant could lead to heart attacks or, in the case of two American soldiers, even death.
DMAA is marketed by its manufacturers as a fat-burning, muscle-building stimulant that enhances performance in weight lifting and other sports. The FDA´s warning claims that the agency is doing all it can to ensure that supplements with DMAA are no longer distributed or sold within the US. Last week´s FDA warning places the United States behind eight other countries that have already banned the stimulant from their borders.
“As of April 11, 2013, FDA had received 86 reports of illnesses and death associated with supplements containing DMAA,” reads the FDA warning which was posted online.
“The majority are voluntary reports from consumers and healthcare practitioners. The illnesses reported include heart problems and nervous system or psychiatric disorders.”
The FDA makes a point to note, however, that these reports are not to be considered proof that DMAA was directly responsible for the illnesses or heart problems.
The warning claims DMAA has been found to increase blood pressure and even lead to heart attacks. Its effects on the cardiovascular system could make DMAA even more dangerous if taken in combination with caffeine.
This public announcement reads more like a proclamation than a warning; the FDA calls DMAA “illegal,” suggesting they may be forced to take appropriate actions once they complete the necessary tests to forcefully remove DMAA products from shelves.
Even though it´s been considered dangerous for a while, products containing DMAA, such as supplements called “Jack3d” or “OxyElite,” are still available in stores and online. The popular supplement franchise GNC.com, for instance, lists Jack3d by USPlabs as a “Hot Buy Item.” USPlabs also sells a DMAA-less version called “Jack3d Micro.” The label on a tub of Jack3d claims that the product has been “University Studied.” A disclaimer highlighted in yellow reads: “Due to its incredible potency, it´s mandatory to follow directions for use and warnings.”
The US Defense Department has already taken a stand against DMAA by removing all products containing the stimulant from military bases in December 2011. Earlier that year two soldiers died shortly after using the stimulant. The family of one of the soldiers is suing USPlabs and GNC for making and selling the product.
In a statement to the New York Times, a lawyer for USPlabs says they disagree with the FDA´s statements.
“USPlabs continues to believe that DMAA is legal, or otherwise they would not be selling it,” said Peter B Hutt with Covington & Burling in Washington. “This is the agency´s customary attempt to protect itself.”
“These reports rely on a plaintiff´s unsubstantiated allegations. There is no evidence that the soldier´s death was caused by DMAA.”
The FDA public warning names Jack3d and OxyElite specifically, though they also say they´ll begin looking for other products which contain DMAA. The FDA also says they´ll begin following up with companies who said they´d stop selling any DMAA products.