Background: The United States Food and Drug Administration banned the stimulant 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) from dietary supplements and warned consumers that the stimulant can pose cardiovascular risks ranging from high blood pressure to heart attacks.
Objectives: We designed our study to determine if a new stimulant similar in structure to 1,3-DMAA has been introduced as an ingredient in supplements sold in the United States (US).
Methods: We analyzed six brands of supplements that listed an ingredient on the label (e.g., Aconitum kusnezoffii, DMHA or 2-amino-isoheptane) that might refer to an analog of 1,3-DMAA. Supplements were analyzed by two separate laboratories using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and reference standards.
Results: Two previously unidentified 1,3-DMAA analogs (2-amino-6-methylheptane [octodrine] and 1,4-dimethylamylamine [1,4-DMAA]) and two banned stimulants (1,3-DMAA and 1,3-dimethylbutylamine [1,3-DMBA]) were identified. Octodrine was found at a dose (±95% CI) of 72 ± 7.5 mg per serving. In Europe, octodrine was previously sold as a pharmaceutical in multi-ingredient medications at dosages from 8 to 33 mg. The quantity of octodrine found in our study was more than twice the largest pharmaceutical dose. The other new stimulant, 1,4-DMAA, has not previously been approved for human consumption, and its safety in humans is unknown. 1,4-DMAA was found at dosages between 21 ± 11 mg to 94 ± 48 mg per serving. In addition, two banned stimulants - 1,3-DMAA and 1,3-DMBA - were also identified: 24 ± 7.6 mg to 35 ± 11 mg of 1,3-DMAA and 51 ± 16 mg of 1,3-DMBA. In one product, 24 ± 7.6 mg of 1,3-DMAA was combined with 21 ± 11 mg of 1,4-DMAA. 1,3-DMAA has been investigated as potentially contributing to hemorrhagic strokes and sudden death, whereas the safety of 1,3-DMBA in humans is unknown.
Conclusion: Two banned stimulants (1,3-DMAA and 1,3-DMBA) and two previously unidentified stimulants (1,4-DMAA and octodrine) were identified in supplements sold in the United States.
Keywords: Cardiovascular; dietary supplements; weight loss supplements; sports supplements.