Daniel Armstrong

Chemistry and Biochemistry

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With more than 500 publications, 15 patents, and numerous national and international chemistry awards, chemistry and biochemistry Professor Daniel Armstrong long ago proved his strength as a scientist. But it was his recent examination of a popular and controversial workout booster called DMAA that put his name in the mainstream media last summer. DMAA is a stimulant known to narrow blood vessels and arteries, and some worry that its use could lead to injury or even death. Dr. Armstrong, who holds the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, investigated whether DMAA—known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine—in numerous supplements came from natural or synthetic sources. His team found that it’s unlikely the DMAA in supplements derives from the geranium plant or its extracted oil, as companies sometimes claim. The study was featured in The Wall Street Journal business section, Prevention magazine, and on several websites. Armstrong believes the research could impact how the Food and Drug Administration regulates DMAA.

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