As the debate regarding the origins of DMAA rages on, regulatory officials across the globe have begun taking the appropriate steps to ban the controversial dietary supplement ingredient. Of particular concern, however, are recent studies that have linked the ambiguous ingredient to the deaths of several individuals worldwide. Opponents of DMAA have even suggested that its potential dangers resemble that of ephedra, an ingredient that was removed from the market in 2004 because of an association with life-threatening side effects.
DMAA has been marketed as a dietary supplement ingredient in combination with caffeine and other ingredients to be used as an over-the-counter thermogenic or general purpose stimulant intended to increase workout energy and efficiency. The increasingly popular ingredient can be found in a growing number of DMAA products that are currently on store shelves. However, misconceptions regarding the origins and safety of DMAA have caused a great deal of controversy in the pharmaceutical industry.
Several studies have attempted to eliminate the perpetual controversy that surrounds the origin of DMAA. However, one particular study continues to hide the origins of DMAA. Subsequently, it is this study in which many dietary supplement manufacturers received their information regarding the origins if this ingredient. According to the Chinese study, otherwise known as the “Ping Study,” DMAA is a natural derivative of the geranium plant. The findings of this study were published in a non reputable, peer-reviewed journal of chemistry.
However, contradictory studies surfaced in 2010 that suggested the 1996 Ping Study was a fraudulent attempt to hide the truth. Researchers around the world find it difficult to concur with the claims made by DMAA manufacturers. In a statement recently issued by Health Canada, officials acknowledged that DMAA is synthetically manufactured and not a derivative of geranium plants. John Travis, manager of clinical operations for NSF International and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) analytical laboratories committee, in association with existing scientific literature, concurred with the findings made by Health Canada.
According to new findings, products that contain DMAA list the ingredient as a natural extract of geranium oil. However, these ingredients are in fact a chemical compound known as 1.3-dimethylpentylamine masquerading as a dietary supplement. This is different than dimethylpentylamine, which can be extracted from the geranium plant. 1.3-dimethylpentylamine is a synthetically manufactures compound that has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar regulatory agencies around the world.
Several DMAA product manufactures have included 1.3-dimethylpentylamine in their products, but labeled the questionable ingredient as a derivative from the geranium plant. An unknown source acknowledged that it would not be a surprise if “some companies here in the U.S. are purchasing the synthetic material called 1.3-dimethylpentylamine and labeling it as either geranamine or geranium oil to make it look like it comes from geranium, when in fact it has never seen a plant.”
The controversy over the ingredient becomes magnified with the inclusion of several deaths that have been linked to its intake. NutraIngredients.com identified a 21-year old New Zealand man who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage shortly after ingesting “party pills” that contained DMAA. In the United States, two soldiers suffered fatal heart attacks after taking DMAA as part of their pre-workout regimen. Mr. Graves, an Army representative, said that DMAA had been identified in the toxicology reports of two soldiers who suffered fatal heart attacks during physical exercise. In addition to the two fatalities, Graves acknowledged a possible link between products with DMAA and an influx of kidney failure, seizures, loss of consciousness and rapid heartbeat in other military personnel.
Complications such as these are reminiscent of Ephedra, a drug that was banned after being linked to the deaths of several individuals. According to Mark Blumenthal, the founder and executive director of the AMerican Botanical Council (AMC), “I think concerns about possibly another ‘ephedra-like’ may be warranted.”
Do I Have a DMAA Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP firm are currently investigating cases involving consumers who have experienced liver injury as a result of using dietary supplements containing DMAA or aegeline, including USPLabs productsOxyElite Pro or VERSA-1.