The German food safety agency has warned people with increased blood pressure and those suffering from cardiovascular disease off disputed stimulant DMAA, and called for a probe into its legal status.
“The BfR recommends investigating whether the formal requirements for the sale of DMAA products as food are met in Germany, in particular whether DMAA is to be classified as novel food or novel food ingredient,” wrote the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).
“Classification of DMAA as a pharmaceutical product too should be considered. If DMAA containing products can be sold as food, it is to be established whether or not they are to be classified as ‘unsafe foods’.”
It added: “The current state of knowledge on the health effects of DMAA oral intake in humans is full of gaps.”
The BfR action joins a host of others acting against DMAA including the US, Canada, France, the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Australia and New Zealand.
DMAA (most commonly known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine/methylhexaneamine) is most popular in pre-workout supplements used by gymgoers, has gained a reputation as a party drug and has caused more doping violations than any other substance since it appeared on the World-Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list in 2010.
The BfR said there were many potential health hazards to DMAA consumption.
“Depending on the administered dose, DMAA can lead to an acute temporary increase in blood pressure in humans. There are now early provisional indications that continued use may, in combination with caffeine, lead to a chronic increase in blood pressure.”
“A pronounced rise in blood pressure may increase cardiac work to such a degree that undesirable cardiovascular effects are precipitated which range from shortness of breath to tightening of the chest or a possible myocardial infarction. In addition, a significant acute increase in blood pressure can increase the risk of cerebral haemorrhage.”
The agency noted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received 42 adverse event reports, including cardiac disorders, nervous system disorders, psychiatric disorders and death.
But it acknowledged, “Details on the reports, for example regarding the ingested quantities of DMAA, the type of adverse events observed, the closer circumstances of the incidents, and the question whether other substances were taken concomitantly, are not available.”