Dietary Supplement DMAA Draws Health Warning

DMAA is an ingredient of pre-workout energy boosters. A recent Chicago Tribune article describes DMAA supplements (a/k/a 1, 3-dimethylamylamine or methylhexaneamine) as being marketed as a natural substance that comes from geraniums. But substantial evidence negates that assertion.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now calling on the manufacturers of DMAA to verify the safety of their products. The regulators are saying that DMAA is a pharmaceutical compound marketed as a natural ingredient. This has led to renewed calls for federal regulations for dietary supplements.

Users of the products containing DMAA claim that it brings renewed energy, especially to competitive bodybuilders and athletes.

There are now 200 products sold under different brand names that contain DMAA. Some of those brand names are Hemo Rage Black and Jack3d.

Although DMAA may act like adrenaline, it has potential dangers. Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance, said, “It’s a potentially dangerous ingredient, and manufacturers’ claims that it is naturally derived are unsubstantiated.” Dr. Cohen has written in the Archives of Internal Medicine that products containing DMAA should be taken off the market.

In April 2012, the FDA said synthetically produced DMAA is not considered a “dietary ingredient.” It has been found that DMAA can narrow blood vessels and arteries, which increases blood pressure. It can lead to shortness of breath, tightening in the chest or even heart attack. Dr. Cohen said he believes the FDA wants to remove DMAA from the market, recognizing that the compound is unsafe.

According to the Chicago Tribune report, some manufacturers and at least one major retailer, General Nutrition Centers or GNC, remain steadfast in marketing DMAA products.

Unlike other pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements do not pass through the FDA scrutiny for acceptance. The agency can take action should a dietary product be found to be unsafe, but only after it is marketed and it has reached consumers.

The FDA banned the sale of ephedra dietary supplements in 2004. Ephedra was linked to sudden death, heart attack and stroke. DMAA has been around for a long time. In 1944, Eli Lilly and Co. patented the product as a nasal decongestant. But in the 1970s, just as the government began regulating medications, the drug was withdrawn. DMAA has been considered a substitute for ephedra, but may have some of ephedra’s health risks.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling pharmaceutical cases for individuals and families for more than 36 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Winfield, Chicago (Bridgeport), Addison, Franklin Park, Frankfurt, Elgin, Joliet, Markham, Maywood and Tinley Park, Illinois.

Related blog posts:

70 Yaz and Yasmin Birth Control Drug Cases Settled

St. Jude Heart Device Maker Fights Back Against Reports Linked to Deaths and Injuries
Use of Actos Suspended Across Europe After Studies Link Its Use to Increased Risk for Bladder Cancer