Texas DMAA Lawyer

July 10, 2012 — The Journal of Analytical Toxicology has published a new study which found no evidence that DMAA is derived from any part of the geranium plant. DMAA is sometimes listed on ingredient labels as 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or “geranium extract,” is a stimulant drug in hundreds of supplements used for bodybuilding or weight-loss. Manufacturers of these products claim DMAA is legal because it is a botanical extract from the geranium plant. However, no independent analysis has been able to verify this claim. This recent study adds more scientific evidence that DMAA is synthetic.


The researchers began the study by collecting a variety of samples. Because many supplement labels list “geranium oil” or “geranium extract,” the researchers collected 20 different commercially-available vials of geranium oil, and three vials of authenticated geranium oil. Then, they collected parts of the geranium plant — including samples that were fresh or dried, collected from young or mature plants. Finally, they collected samples from three supplements with “geranium extract” on the label.

These samples were run through several tests, including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry. These machines are used to analyze the chemical contents of samples. They break down molecules into ionic parts, analyze the mass and charge of the sample, and assign it identity.

After the tests were complete, the researchers found that there were no traces of DMAA in any of the geranium samples. However, supplements with “geranium extract” or “geranium oil” as an ingredient contained very large amounts of DMAA.

The major disparity in the evidence suggests that the ingredient in these dietary supplements is not derived from the geranium plant. In conclusion, the researchers said, “The amounts of MHA [methylhexanamine, another name for DMAA] measured are incompatible with the use of reasonable amounts of P. graveolens extract or concentrate, suggesting that MHA was of synthetic origin.”

The original research that claimed DMAA was from the geranium plant is questionable, at best. The study was published in 1996 in a Chinese technical journal by Ping, et al., and was never peer-reviewed. No one has been able to reproduce the results, despite the fact that they used a common mass-spectrometry technique.

Many experts agree that DMAA is synthetic. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has banned its members from listing DMAA as an herbal or botanical ingredient. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called DMAA synthetic. The FDA recently warned several manufacturers that synthetic drugs are not allowed in dietary supplements without notification.

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