Shady amphetamine-like compounds found in weight-loss supplements

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013. Filed under: Health & Fitness Home & Garden Online
US scientists have spotted an amphetamine-like compound in nine of the 21 supposedly all-natural supplements tested. ©Pakhnyushcha/shutterstock.com

US scientists have spotted an amphetamine-like compound in nine of the 21 supposedly all-natural supplements tested.
©Pakhnyushcha/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists have found some shady ingredients in nine weight-loss supplements currently available on the market.

Scientists have spotted an amphetamine-like compound, called beta-methylphenethylamine, in nine of the 21 supposedly all-natural supplements tested. An athlete competing in canoeing qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics was disqualified after traces of the compound were found in his system.

It’s the second time in recent weeks that scientists have found the compounds in dietary supplements, but the FDA has yet to issue warnings to consumers, USA Today reports. The research is published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis.

The scientists were also concerned that all 21 of the supplements they tested included another drug called Acacia rigidula, described as a “bushy plant found in Texas and Mexico,” which appears to never have been tested for safety in humans.

“This is a brand new drug being placed into a number of supplements under the guise of a natural ingredient,” Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, told USA Today.

“The laws are incredibly weak,” he said, “but the FDA is not moving as fast as it could to remove hazardous products.”

The FDA is currently inspecting weight loss and energy-boosting products made by a company called Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals of Norcross, Georgia, seizing $2 million in supplements. Another company, iForce Nutrition, lists Acacia rigidula as an ingredient in its Dexaprine XR diet supplements. Dutch officials have also released safety warnings about Dexaprine.

Access the findings: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0731708513004378

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