May 9, 2012 — It may surprise you that DMAA has not already been banned officially in the United States. The Department of Defense has banned sales of DMAA on military bases, and the FDA recently sent warning letters to ten different manufacturers of DMAA dietary supplements. However, the products are not technically illegal. Now, Harvard researcher Dr. Pieter A. Cohen has published an article in the most recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, calling for DMAA to be banned once and for all. Dr. Cohen argues that “at best, DMAA is a waste of money, and at worst, it can damage your health.”
Dr. Cohen is calling for an immediate ban of DMAA dietary supplements, which would effectively remove all products containing DMAA from store shelves and prevent more people from consuming this product.
DMAA has been linked to two deaths and 42 adverse event reports submitted to the FDA. These reports include cardiac problems, heart attacks, psychiatric disorders, central nervous system disorders, and deaths. The FDA now warns that health risks of DMAA, a stimulant drug, can severely elevate blood pressure and increase heart-rate.
Instead of banning DMAA, the FDA sent warning letters saying that DMAA is a synthetically-produced drug, and therefore is not eligible for use in dietary supplements. They specifically cited the companies for failing to provide the FDA with a New Dietary Ingredient notification, which would have established the safety of DMAA. Instead, manufacturers claimed that DMAA was a natural extract of the geranium plant, and has been used in food for many years. There is no evidence to support this claim.
Dr. Cohen argues that “this pharmaceutical chemical has absolutely no place in the supplement world. We’ve seen six years of inappropriate sales for something that should not have been there in the first place.” Dr. Cohen cites evidence that DMAA was first mass-produced by the drug company Eli Lilly, which sold it as a nasal decongestant. The FDA revoked approval for the drug in the 1970s.
Approximately 200 dietary supplement products currently contain DMAA, and the products generate an estimated $100 million in annual sales. Some of the most popular DMAA supplements include Jack3D, OxyElite Pro, Code Red, and more. They are mostly sold to fitness buffs, who use the stimulant to enhance energy and weight-loss. Unfortunately, during periods of extreme exercise, the increases in blood pressure and heart-rate may have deadly effects.
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