Nutrition News

Weight Loss Supplements Could Contain Dangerous Substances, Study Warns

Certain weight loss and workout supplements, available across the country in drugstores and vitamin shops, contain a chemical nearly identical to amphetamine which could pose serious danger to the health of those who take them, according to a new study.

The Canadian Health authorities called beta-methylphenylethylamine, or BMPEA, a very serious health risk and pulled all products containing it from stores back in December. The products were advertised as weight loss and workout supplements improving performance and brain functionality.

BMPEA was tested on dogs and cats, which showed increased blood pressure and heart rate, but it was not tested on humans. It is classified as a doping agent by the World Anti-Doping Agency because it is very similar to amphetamine.

BMPEA is not the only supplement ingredient that caused trouble during the last year, according to CBS News. An investigation led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman showed that some herbal supplements did not contain the herb advertised on the label.

Another study published in Drug Testing and Analysis indicated that 12 weight loss supplements contained 7.12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, an immunosuppressor and laboratory specific carcinogen also known as DMBA, a chemical similar to FDA banned substance, DMAA.

Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the consumer advocacy organization Center for Science, in his interview for New York Times said that some top agency regulators have backgrounds in the supplement history.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Michael F. Jacobson”]

To have former officials in the supplement industry become the chief regulators of that industry at the FDA is like the fox guarding the hen house.


In our recently covered story about weight loss programs we discussed their efficiency. Certain programs were only educational but some included taking certain supplements in addition to exercise and diet. If you decide to join a weight loss program research the supplement components and make sure they do not contain any illegal or dangerous substances.

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