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They say: "Risky stimulants turn up — again — in weight loss and workout supplements."

November 20, 2017 Science Health Wellness

The ingredients, apparently new, were popping up on the labels of dietary supplements marketed for weight loss and workouts. Sometimes the label said DMHA. Sometimes, Aconitum kusnezoffii. Or other, even harder-to-parse names.

But what were they, really?

Dr. Pieter Cohen, the Harvard internist and noted supplement detective, took the case. He and his collaborators purchased and analyzed six supplements marked as containing one of the mystery ingredients. They expected that, however they were listed, all the ingredients would turn out to be a stimulant known as octodrine, which the Food and Drug Administration approved decades ago, in inhaled form, as a treatment for bronchitis, laryngitis, and other conditions.

Octodrine did indeed show up in one of the products Cohen analyzed. But the others contained three different stimulants, with unknown or potentially risky side effects. They could speed up heart rate and raise blood pressure. And none, including octodrine, has gone through the process required by the FDA to be included as ingredients in dietary supplements.

Cohen called the results “surprising and alarming.”

The finding, published on Wednesday in Clinical Toxicology, is the latest example of potentially dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients turning up in products that consumers can easily order online or pick up from retail shelves. In some cases, the risk seems to be part of the appeal.

One of the products Cohen tested, a powder called “Cannibal Ferox Amped,” is marketed online by a company called Chaos and Pain in packaging reminiscent of a horror movie poster. “You’re looking at serious quantities of stimulants,” the product description says. It goes on to gleefully cite a review that called the supplement “dangerous and irresponsible.”

CONTINUES at: https://www.statnews.com/2017/11/08/pieter-cohen-study-stimulants/

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