Untested stimulant found in dietary supplements
Scientists from Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts have discovered that many dietary supplements available in the U.S. contain a synthetic stimulant that hasn't been tested on humans.
The supplement, known as DMBA, was found in 12 supplement products, although it was listed under a variety of names.
Further investigation indicated that DMBA is similar to a compound called DMAA, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found to be linked to heart attacks. The FDA told manufacturers to stop selling supplements containing DMAA back in 2012, after the agency received dozens of reports of illnesses and deaths that were tied to supplements containing the stimulant.
Manufacturers may have begun to include DMBA in their products to replace the banned DMAA, the researchers reported. The findings, published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, revealed that most of the products containing DMBA are marketed as sports or weight loss supplements or brain enhancers.
Currently, the FDA has not taken any action to ban DMBA, but reports indicate that it is now considering next steps. Since manufacturers have not yet stopped making products containing DMBA, and since retailers may still contain such products, experts said that consumers need to be wary of supplements that contain the potentially harmful compounds.