A UT Arlington professor is adding new evidence to the debate over DMAA, a popular sports supplement that has been embroiled in controversy involving professional athletes and even the U.S. Army.
Daniel W. Armstrong, who holds the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry at UT Arlington, investigated whether 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA) in numerous supplements came from natural or synthetic sources. Armstrong's team found that it is unlikely the DMAA in supplements comes from the geranium plant or its extracted oil, as companies have sometimes claimed.
Armstrong is the corresponding author on a paper titled "1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) in supplements and geranium products: natural or synthetic?" It is currently online in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1368/abstract
). Co-authors are Ying Zhang, Zachary Breitbach and Ross M. Woods, a former and current graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UT Arlington.
DMAA, also known as 1-3 dimethylpentylamine or methylhexaneamine, is not regulated as a drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because supplement manufacturers claimed it was a natural component of the geranium plant. However, the agency sent letters in April to 10 companies that manufactured and distributed dietary supplements containing DMAA, warning them about marketing products for which evidence of safety has not been submitted. The letters informed the companies that synthetic DMAA is not a "dietary ingredient" and, therefore, is ineligible for use as an active ingredient in a dietary supplement, according to an FDA press release.
Manufacturers have responded by removing DMAA from their products or insisting that the stimulant is natural and safe, according to media reports.
DMAA is known to narrow blood vessels and arteries, which can elevate blood pressure and may lead to shortness of breath and even heart attack, according to the FDA. The FDA says it has received 42 adverse event reports on products containing DMAA.
Armstrong said that in supplements with significant amounts of synthetic