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Study: FDA should warn consumers about chemical in weight loss supplements

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Several weight loss and fitness supplements contain the chemical BMPEA, a stimulant similar to amphetamine, according to a new study.

Several weight loss and fitness supplements contain the chemical BMPEA, a stimulant similar to amphetamine, according to a new study.

The study, published in the April 7 online issue of Drug Testing and Analysis, found that the stimulant BMPEA, labeled as Acacia rigidula, “was present at quantities such that consumers following recommended maximum daily servings would consume a maximum of 93.7 mg of BMPEA per day.”

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“Consumers of Acacia rigidula supplements may be exposed to pharmacological dosages of an amphetamine isomer that lacks evidence of safety in humans. FDA should immediately warn consumers about BMPEA and take aggressive enforcement action to eliminate BMPEA in dietary supplements,” the researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., and other US universities wrote in the article.

BMPEA was first discovered in a handful of dietary supplements analyzed by FDA in 2013. Over a year after FDA reported its findings, the researchers analyzed 21 different brands of Acacia rigidula dietary supplements to determine if BMPEA had been removed.

Related: FDA updates Chantix label to include possible alcohol interaction

The researchers did not name the specific supplements they analyzed.

Read next: FDA should pull diabetes drug ads, group says

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