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Health officials worldwide reacting to DMAA injuries, considering bans

Jun 19, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

Health authorities in Australia have joined others around the world in warning the public about hte dangers of dietary and sports supplements containing the additive DMAA, or dimethylamylamine.

According to a report at, the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) board has warned the public against using supplements often used in conjuction with bodybuilding or weight loss workout regimens. The additive DMAA is largely considered unsafe and puts people at unknown health risks but many reports suggest they increase the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has ordered the makers of these products to pull them from store shelves because they make false claims about their safety and effectiveness at aiding workouts. The FDA said no evidence exists to support the claims makers of DMAA supplements make and it considers the products adulterated and the claims false.

Making medical claims on a product in the U.S. requires the submission of scientific evidence that the product performs as advertised.

A growing number of adverse event reports involving DMAA brought these supplements into the focus of federal regulators and other health officials worldwide. This includes the death of two U.S. soliders following a workout. They had traces of DMAA in their system during an autopsy and were believed to be taking supplements sold at U.S. bases to soldiers that contained DMAA.

Officials in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, and now Australia and New Zealand have taken some stance on DMAA supplements. The substance has been placed on a banned substances list by Major League Baseball. It is also banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and was reponsible for the most bans on athletes for doping, 123, in 2010.

The report indicates the Australian Federal Dept. of Health and Aging and the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling are considering an outright ban on supplements containing DMAA by the end of July. FSANZ has identified at least 11 products containing DMAA that it is advising the public to avoid because they've received adverse event reports from people taking them: Noxpump, 3-D Explosion, Beta-Cret, PreSurge, 1 MR, Cyroshock, Jack3D, Mesomorph, Neurocore, Oxyelite Powder, and Hemo Rage Black.

In New Zealand, health officials there have labeled DMAA as a narcotic. 

In Australia, according to the report, DMAA is blamed with causing hyperactivity in a growing number of residents, especially younger people. Parents report their children acting hyper-active and focused, it adds. DMAA supplements are blamed for causing an increased heart rate and hyperactivity in a recently filed U.S. lawsuit by a man and woman who were taking them as part of their workout regimen. 

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