Supplement ingredient DMAA is illegal, dangerous, FDA says

by  |  published on April 15, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is warning to consumers not to buy dietary supplements containing the ingredient dimethylamylamine, or DMAA.

The strongly worded warning from the agency, which calls the DMAA illegal, is the first to explicitly caution consumers about the ingredient, experts say.

DMAA, most commonly found in supplements promoted for helping muscle-building and weight loss, can increase blood pressure, and may cause shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and heart attacks, the FDA says.

The warning comes after the FDA sent letters to 11 companies last year, asking them to stop making and selling products containing DMAA. Since then, all but one of the companies has complied, the FDA said.

In its previous letters, the FDA questioned the legality of DMAA, while in this new warning, the agency is “crystal clear that it is illegal,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance in Boston.

The company that did not comply, USPlabs, makes the DMAA-containing supplements Oxy Elite Pro and Jack3D. To challenge the FDA’s actions, USPlabs submitted studies to the agency attempting to show that the products are safe, but in the new warning, the FDA says the studies are insufficient to support the sale of these products. The FDA is working on a response to USPlabs, and will work to close the issue, the FDA said.

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