Monday, May 11, 2015

FDA Issues Warning On Weight Loss Supplements

FDA Issues Warning On Weight Loss Supplements Containing Dangerous 'Super Caffeine’ - An article from Yahoo! Health by Meagan Morris, published April 24, 2015.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to manufacturers of eight dietary supplements containing the amphetamine-like substance BMPEA (labeled as Acacia rigidula), saying that it can pose serious health risks to those who take it.

The companies who received the letter were:

•  Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Products: Fastin-XR - extended release), Fastin-RR (rapid release), Lipodrene (Ephedra Free)
•  Tribravus Enterprises, LLC d/b/a iForce Nutrition (Products: Conquer (Fruit Punch Slam & Raspberry Lemonade flavors)
•  Train Naked Labs LLC (Products: Critical FX, Sudden Impact)
•  Better Body Sports, LLC (Product: Phoenix Extreme)
•  Human Evolution Supplements, Inc. (Product: Core Burner)

The warning comes just weeks after Pieter Cohen, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, published a study criticizing the FDA for not warning the public about BMPEA, after the agency discovered the chemical during a 2013 study that found the ingredient in 21 supplements, but didn’t issue a warning about it. Cohen said that was irresponsible.

“Physicians should remain vigilant for patients presenting with toxicity from sports and weight-loss supplements as they might contain undisclosed stimulants, such as BMPEA,“ Cohen and researchers wrote in the study, which was published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.

The reason for concern? "At the very least you can think of BMPEA as super caffeine,” Allison Dehring-Anderson, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy tells Yahoo Health, “but that’s really underestimating the danger it poses.”

Amphetamines like BMPEA can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, putting you at risk for significant heart damage, especially if you already have heart problems, says Dehring-Anderson. “It can change the way your heart monitors its own beating by overriding the safety mechanisms our bodies have in place to manage it,” she says.

In addition, amphetamine-like substances cause disruptions in sleep and jitters, along with keeping you from focusing on important tasks.

“It can turn you into a person that gets into dangerous positions,” adds Dehring- Anderson. “Your ability to be a positive and civil person will be blunted with amphetamine-like substances. Basically, you’ll be a nasty person waiting to have a heart attack.”

This ingredient is especially dangerous if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, even to the point of causing a miscarriage or significant organ and brain damage in the unborn fetus. “When mom has an uncontrolled heart rate and blood pressure the baby actually gets less blood, not more,” Dehring-Anderson tells Yahoo Health. “The baby is relying 100 percent on mom making good decisions.”

The good news: Major specialty retailers like Vitacost and Vitamin Shoppe have pulled supplements containing Acacia rigidula from their shelves. That’s a step in the right direction, but Dehring-Anderson believes retailers that mislead the public by selling dubious supplements put the whole medical field at risk.

“When [retailers] intentionally mislead the public by adding a dangerous stimulant and hiding it under the name of some obscure plant, it makes people wonder who else is lying to them about their health,” she says.

BMPEA is also known as:

• βMePEA
• R-beta-methylphenethylamine
• R-beta-methylphenethylamine HCl
• Beta-methylphenethylamine
• β-methylphenylethylamine
• 1-amino-2-phenylpropane
• 2-phenylpropan-1-amine
• 2-phenylpropylamine
• alpha-benzylethylamine
• 1-phenyl-1-methyl-2-aminoethane
• beta-methylbenzeneethanamine
• beta-phenylpropylamine
• 2- phenyl-1-propanamine

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