Why DMAA Is Banned: Safe, or Unsafe?

April 07, 2017

Earlier this year, a Federal Judge for the Central District of California ruled in favor of the FDA and entered a permanent injunction against VivaCeuticals (also known as Regeneca Worldwide) and its owner Matthew A. Nicosia. The brand and CEO will be punished for unlawfully distributing adulterated dietary supplements containing the drug DMAA (1, 3-dimethylamylamine), an amphetamine derivative. This ruling came after warnings and reminders of the various health risks that come from ingestion of the chemical.

DMAA has been banned for many years, though many in the supplement industry continue to disregard and protest the ban, claiming DMAA is a “natural supplement” that, if used properly, is not dangerous. The use of DMAA has been linked to improved performance, but also to seizures, arrhythmias, heart attacks, strokes, panic attacks and even death. It’s also known to exacerbate psychiatric conditions, which means users not only put themselves at risk, but also others around them. The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) even launched a week long campaign to raise awareness around the danger of taking DMAA. Here in the U.S. it is virtually impossible to insure any product that contains DMAA.

CEO’s Fighting for Freedom - Or Profit

So why is this debate still thriving? Why are there so many DMAA containing supplements still on the market? Shouldn’t DMAA go the route of using cocaine in children’s cough syrup (never again)? 

Our theory is that the longevity of this fight has a lot to do with unethical corporations and profit driven CEOs - specifically Jared Wheat, CEO of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals.

Wheat is known for treating the debate over DMAA as more of a holy war than a legal battle. He’s spent a lot of time and money embroiled in a legal battle with the FDA. He says he’s doing his duty to fight legal overreach. Under Wheat’s direction, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals continues to market the drug openly despite the FDA’s clear position on the matter. But who is to decide whether it’s all part of a clever marketing scheme, or if he truly feels the drug is harmless? Regardless, he’s grabbing loads of attention within the supplement industry.

Athletes & Consumers Beware

Whether you’re convinced one way or the other, as an athlete it’s important to understand the drug is banned by most if not all athletic institutions - which means if you’re competing, it’s off the table. Usain Bolt learned that the hard way a few months ago when one of his teammates tested positive for DMAA and he was compelled to return one of his nine gold medals. Furthermore, anyone that chooses to take supplements containing DMAA should be aware that the companies making and selling the product probably don’t have insurance coverage on those products, and there’s probably some extra sneaky language in the fine print you sign when you purchase. No insurance means even if it’s a different ingredient in the product that gets you sick, there will be no recourse for you.

Look for Safe, Natural Supplements

A lot of companies put profit first. At Black Market, we will never condone the use of harmful chemicals in our supplements – even if it hurts our bottom line. We maintain non-negotiable standards around quality control and product safety. We will never produce products that contain ingredients banned by the FDA. Furthermore, we only produce products that are fully insured. At Black Market, we are 100% committed to producing products that are both safe and effective.  

When you’re looking for supplements, Black Market urges you to consider your health and longevity over your appearance and aesthetics. Real results are earned the right way – not by cutting corners and consuming unsafe chemicals.