July 10, 2012 — Ireland is joining a growing list of countries taking regulatory action against products containing DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or “geranium extract”). Although manufacturers of DMAA claim it is a natural botanical extract of the geranium, several health authorities have concluded that it is actually a synthetic stimulant drug that can have severe, life-threatening side effects.
Ireland joins the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.K., Sweden, Denmark, and Finland in taking action against manufacturers of products containing DMAA.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), the country’s official health regulatory agency, issued this statement to manufacturers and retailers:
“Food business operators, particularly sport and health stores and Irish based internet sales companies are requested to remove any food supplements or products containing DMAA from sale.”
Furthermore, the FSAI warned that inspectors will be instructed to look for DMAA products on store shelves and notify the FSAI if they are found. The agency is also advising that people who have purchased DMAA products should throw them away immediately.
The concern is due to a growing number of serious adverse event reports tied to DMAA. According to the FSAI, “It can cause high blood pressure, nausea, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke and in serious cases can be fatal.” The FSAI was also concerned about “several documented cases of severe negative effects on the heart and brain which indicate that consumption of DMAA, especially in combination with caffeine, poses a significant risk to consumer health.”
The deadly side effects of DMAA first became well-known after two U.S. soldiers died of heart attacks during exercise. Subsequent examination revealed they had DMAA in their bloodstream. This prompted the U.S. military to ban DMAA sales on military bases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quickly took action, and since then, several other countries have done the same.
Although this is not a complete list, Irish health authorities warned that the following products may contain DMAA:
- Marrow Matters/li>
- Lipo-6 Black
DMAA has stimulant effects similar to amphetamines, but substantially weaker. The drug is mostly sold in dietary supplements marketed toward amateur bodybuilders or people trying to lose weight. The ingredient is known to increase heart rhythm and blood pressure, and is mostly used as a pre-workout energy enhancer.
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