Even though it’s already been two years since stimulants similar to amphetamine were found in some dietary supplements, said products are still on the market.
On Tuesday, a study was issued in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis on the matter of the substance called beta-methylphenylethylamine, or BMPEA, which was found in a lot of the 21 brands of Acacia rigidula supplements tested.
The researchers began their study a year after the discovery of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was made public. However, conducting the study and preparing the paper delayed the new for another year.
All the supplements they examined had been advertised as benefic for improving athletic performance and brain function and helping with weight loss. The dangerous substance has been given to cats and dogs and it had severely elevated their blood pressure and heart rates; however, its effect has not been studied in human trials.
Due to its close relation to amphetamine effects, the World Anti-Doping Agency has classified BMPEA as a doping agent. According to Juli Ann Putnam, an FDA spokeswoman, the agency’s main purpose is to make sure dietary supplements do not harm the population; so far, data on products containing BMPEA has not revealed any safety concern, according to the agency.
Lead author of the paper, Dr. Pieter Cohen, eminent ASST PROF at Harvard Medical School, however, was not impressed by the FDA’s investigation, and urged them to warn consumers and take action, before “the body count.”
According to Cohen, Acacia rigidula is only a cover-up name in the pharmaceutical industry, standing in for a powerful artificial stimulant. Dangerous substances inside supplements have always been a concern for the FDA. After banning Ephedra back in 2004 – the main ingredient found in weight loss products – companies have turn to other alternatives. Now is BMPEA’s time to shine.
Therefore, products like Thermo-RX, launched by Norcross last week, have started making their way into the market. According to the advertising, Thermo-RX is using Acadia rigidula as a substitute for ephedrine – and doing a much better job than its predecessor.
In Europe, however, health regulators have banned any products that contained various amounts of Acacia rigidula, and marketing it was illegal due to the fact that it did not yet receive authorization based on a thorough evaluation.
If you’re from Europe and you want to sell your product that contains Acacia rigidula, European regulators will specifically request you solid data showing your product does not present a health risk to the consumer.
Image Source: Forum BCN
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