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DMAA Linked to Marathon Runner’s Death

DMAA Linked to Marathon Runner’s Death

January 31, 2013 — The supplement DMAA has been implicated in the death of a 30 year-old woman who collapsed and died in the final stretch of the London Marathon last year. The woman, Claire Squires, placed a scoop of Jack3D in her water bottle before the race. In the 25th mile of the 26.2-mile race, she suffered cardiac failure due to extreme exertion compounded with DMAA toxicity in her bloodstream, according to the coroner’s report.

Squires aimed to raise about £500 for a charity called the Samaritans, where her mother volunteered. Soon after her death, donations in her name reached nearly £1 million. Her funeral service was attended by more than 600 people.

Britain did not ban DMAA until August 2012, several months after Squires died. At the time she purchased Jack3D, it was completely legal. Many products containing DMAA are still widely available in supplement stores and over the internet.

This is not the first time DMAA has been implicated in fatal cardiac events. The drug was found in the blood of two American soldiers who died of sudden cardiac arrest during routing physical training. In response, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) banned sales of DMAA on military bases.

DMAA has also been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and professional athletes are tested for the substance after competitions. However, marathon runners are not typically drug tested. DMAA is also banned or restricted by many European countries, Australia, and New Zealand. It remains legal in the United States, though the FDA has sent warning letters to 10 manufacturers of the supplements.

DMAA (also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine or “geranium oil”) is a substance that has mild amphetamine-like effects, and it is widely marketed as a pre-workout energy booster, weight-loss supplement, and party pill. Unfortunately, it can also have life-threatening adverse effects — including high blood pressure, increased heart rate, cardiac arrest, psychiatric events, heart attack, stroke, and death.

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