Amphetamine-like Compound Found in Nine Dietary Supplements

An unnatural substance mimicking amphetamine has been found in some dietary supplements tested by scientists from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). No warnings have yet been released regarding the amphetamine-like compound that’s been identified in 9 “all-natural” supplements. As published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, of the 21 supplements that were tested by the FDA, all of the supposedly “all-natural” supplements listed an ingredient that does not appear to have ever been tested on humans. The ingredient, Acacia rigidula, comes from a bushy plant that can only be found in Texas and Mexico, and exists in no FDA-verified samples of the plant.

Nine products in particular stood out from the rest for the methamphetamine-like compound found in them, which has since been referred to as betamethylphenethylamine. The compound is believed to be the same as the one found in the pre-workout supplement, Craze. According to an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, “This is a brand new drug being placed into a number of supplements under the guise of a natural ingredient.” The assistant professor expressed his concern over the fact that the FDA has known about the nine supplements since the middle of July when the agency’s article was submitted to the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. So why haven’t the substances been warned against by the FDA?

It’s well known among professionals in the weight-loss and pre-workout industry that laws for testing dietary and energy-boosting substances are very weak; so weak that they often leave the FDA with little to no authority when it comes to regulating supplements. Nonetheless, some people such as Harvard’s assistant professor feel that the FDA is not moving as quickly as it could to remove the potentially hazardous products from the market.

What’s currently known about Acacia rigidula is that it’s a listed ingredient in a number of weight loss and energy supplements manufactured by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. The company, which is located in Norcross, Georgia, has produced supplements such as Lipodrene Hardcore, FastinXR, and Stimerex. Records show that the company has had repeated run-ins with federal regulators over the years, most all of which pertain to ingredients and marketing practices used by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. The company also recently had $2 million worth of supplements seized from it by the FDA for containing the controversial stimulant known as DMAA.

In defense of his product, the president of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals sited a journal article by Texas A&M scientists from 1998, the contents of which the president suggest back his claim that the compounds found in the Acacia rigidula plant are naturally occurring. FDA scientists, on the other hand, have expressed their concern over the fact that the article did not provide enough information regarding how the tests of the plant’s compounds were performed. Now, the FDA is facing a lawsuit from Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals for allegedly engaging in a wrongful “campaign of intimidation” against the company for its use of DMAA.

Given the conflict between Hi-Tech and the FDA, it’s not yet clear what will become of the nine products that have been found to contain betamethylphenethylamine. If your health has suffered from the use of a dietary or pre-workout supplement, don’t wait to speak to a doctor about your condition. A California attorney from The Senators Firm can also be contacted for help. We can review the details of your case to determine whether or not you have a claim for compensation. Contact us today at (949) 557-5800.