The US Food and Drug Administration has warned five companies to stop selling dietary supplements containing an unapproved stimulant known as beta-methylphenylethylamine, or BMPEA. Reuters Health reports that BMPEA is an amphetamine-like substance that has been shown to raise blood pressure and heart rate in animals and is classified as a doping agent by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
A 2013 FDA investigation found nine out of 21 supplements containing Acacia rigidula also contained BMPEA even though the plant itself does not contain the substance. But, the report says, earlier this month, a study showed BMPEA-containing products were still on the market more than a year after the FDA published its findings. Asked why, the agency said it had not identified a safety problem.
In its warning letters the FDA cited product misbranding. It said BMPEA does not meet the definition of a dietary ingredient and Acacia rigidula does not contain BMPEA.
Dr Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and lead author on the study, said he was "delighted" the FDA had confirmed that BMPEA does not belong in dietary supplements but said it "begs the question as to what took them so long."
Cohen said the warnings do not go far enough since they cover only those products that explicitly list BMPEA on the label. Many products use Acacia rigidula as code and do not mention BMPEA, he said.
The warning letters were sent to Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Tribravus Enterprises, Train Naked Labs, Better Body Sports and Human Evolution Supplements. Affected products include Fastin-XR, Lipodrene, Sudden Impact, Core Burner and Phoenix Extreme.
[link url="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/23/us-supplements-warning-fda-idUSKBN0NE2OH20150423"]Full Reuters Health report[/link]
[link url="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1793/abstract"]Drug Testing and Analysis abstract[/link]