1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) in supplements and geranium products: natural or synthetic?

Drug Test Anal. 2012 Dec;4(12):986-90. doi: 10.1002/dta.1368. Epub 2012 Jul 12.


1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) is a stimulant existing in various pre-workout supplements and often labelled as part of geranium plants. The safety and origin of DMAA in these supplements is the subject of intense debate. In this study, the enantiomeric and diastereomeric ratios of two different known synthetic DMAA compounds, as well as the total concentrations of DMAA and its stereoisomeric ratios in 13 different supplements, were determined by gas chromatography. The stereoisomeric ratios of DMAA in the synthetic standards and in all the commercial supplements were indistinguishable. Eight different commercial geranium extracts of different geographical origins (China and the Middle East) were examined for the presence of DMAA by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). No DMAA was detected in any of the eight geranium products with a limit of detection of 10 parts per billion (w/w).

MeSH terms

  • Amines / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Gas / standards
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / standards
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Geranium / chemistry*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Mass Spectrometry / standards
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / analysis*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry*
  • Reference Standards
  • Stereoisomerism


  • 1,3-dimethylamylamine
  • Amines
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Plant Oils
  • Plant Preparations