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Nine Weight-Loss, Energy Supplements Contain Amphetamine-Like Compound

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Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have found an amphetamine-like compound in nine dietary supplements, USA Today reports. The compound, beta-methylphenethylamine, appears to have never been tested for safety on humans.

All of the supplements tested listed an ingredient called Acacia rigidula. The supplements were marketed for weight loss, energy boosting and mood stabilizing, the scientists reported in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. They did not name the supplements they tested.

Last month, another research team found a methamphetamine-like compound in a supplement called Craze. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School, who published the findings on Craze, told the newspaper he is concerned the FDA has not issued warnings to the public regarding either Craze or the supplements cited in the new study.”The laws are incredibly weak, but the FDA is not moving as fast as it could to remove hazardous products,” he said.

This week, the FDA directed U.S. marshals to seize dietary supplements made by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Inc., after the agency found the products contained the stimulant DMAA or its chemical equivalent. According to the agency, DMAA, is an unapproved food additive that is deemed unsafe under the law. The FDA urged consumers not to buy or use supplements containing DMAA, which can raise blood pressure and could lead to heart attack, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest. DMAA may be particularly dangerous when combined with caffeine.

High-Tech products containing DMAA include Black Widow, Fastin, Lipodrene, Stimerex-ES and Yellow Scorpion.

Earlier this month, the FDA said the maker of the dietary supplement OxyElite Pro is recalling some of its products, which have been linked to an outbreak of liver illnesses.

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