A recent study has discovered that many popular sports supplements and diet drugs might be hiding a potentially dangerous amphetamine type substance. This substance has not yet been tested on humans so the health risks associated with it are currently unknown.
The substance is called BMPEA, and can be found in supplement products that advertise Acacia rigidula as an ingredient. Acacia rigidula is a shrub type plant that is found in Texas. In fact that BMPEA can actually only be made synthetically.
Apparently the Food and Drug Administration found BMPEA in supplements back in 2013 but did not mention the findings or warn consumers. This is according to the study that was published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.
The study authors felt strongly about spreading the news.
“The FDA should immediately warn consumers about BMPEA and take aggressive enforcement action to eliminate BMPEA in dietary supplements. Physicians should remain vigilant for patients presenting with toxicity from sports and weight-loss supplements as they might contain undisclosed stimulants, such as BMPEA,” they said.
Some supplement companies have already responded by removing products from their shelves that could potentially contain the BMPEA, with concern for customer safety.
The process of getting supplements onto shelves has had a complicated history. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA before they hit shelves and may be sold to people who are unaware about their contents.
Although human research about the effects of BMPEA have not been done, there have been studies done on dogs and cats. The studies concluded that BMPEA has the ability to increase blood pressure and heart rate, which lead it to being a substance that is banned by the World Anti-Doping Association.
Mark O’Brian, the interim chairman of the Department of Biochemistry in the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found this information troubling.
“It’s something no one should be taking at all, and certainly not unknowingly,” he said.