DMAA debated on prime time Italian TV

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags World anti-doping agency

DMAA debated on prime time Italian TV
An Italian TV news programme featured USP Labs’ pre-workout supplement Jack3D this week, exploring the safety and origin concerns growing around the stimulant constituent, DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine).

The broadcast featured an importer of Jack3D displaying a Certificate of Analysis that showed DMAA was derived from geranium plants and therefore able to be used in Italian supplements.

But the scientific consensus indicates DMAA is in fact chemically manufactured and not sourced from geranium. If this is the source, its use in supplements on the Italian market is prohibited.

An Italian herbal researcher told NutraIngredients: The importer did show a certificate which stated it was from a flower extract, which from all the data we are gathering seems not credible.”

He said Italian authorities were on the verge of banning Jack3D.

The Italian newscast can be seen here.

DMAA, which commonly goes by other names including methylhexaneamine (MHA), is not authorised for use in food supplements in the European Union, but is included in many weight loss and body building products – usually labeled as geranium extracts.

Jack3d marketing boasts it can, “produce an intense sensation of drive, focus, energy, motivation & awareness” ​and “allows for rapid increases in strength, speed, power and endurance” ​is being sold for around €30 on Italy’s second most popular online retail site for food supplements.

The situation is known to be under investigation by at least one European trade body and it has crossed the radar of the EU-funded botanical research project, PlantLIBRA.


There is an ongoing debate, especially in North America, about whether DMAA, first manufactured synthetically by drug giant Eli Lily in the 1940s and trademarked as Forthane in 1971, is in fact a constituent of geranium, withthe consensus growing that it is not.

Health Canada in August issued a statement that DMAA is not found naturally in geranium in affirming that any products containing it require a drug authorisation. But the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to act on the matter, whilst trade groups are conducting research of their own.

DMAA and geranium extracts are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and there have been doping violations, some of which are in process, and which may bring the possible adulteration issue to the public eye at greater intensity than has occurred to date.

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