Acacia rigidula, an amphetamine-like drug, is found in supplements

Surprise, surprise. Less than well-regulated dietary supplements have potentially harmful substances. The FDA has known this since at least July 15, and have not done anything.

Nine diet supplements contain amphetamine-like compound.

For the second time in recent weeks, scientists have found a “non-natural” amphetamine-like compound in dietary supplements – yet federal regulators have issued no warnings to consumers about the ingredient.

Tests of 21 supposedly all-natural supplements by U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists found nine products that contain the compound, according to their findings published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis.

All 21 of the supplements list an ingredient called Acacia rigidula, which is a bushy plant found in Texas and Mexico. The FDA scientists reported they couldn’t find the substance in verified samples of the plant. The compound appears to have never been tested for safety on humans, they said.

“This is a brand new drug being placed into a number of supplements under the guise of a natural ingredient,” Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said after reading the FDA’s paper.

Acacia rigidula is supposedly an ingredient in several weight loss and energy supplements made by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals of Norcross, Ga., with names such as Fastin-XR, Stimerex and Lipodrene Hardcore. This company has been on the hotseat with federal regulators over ingredients and marketing practices in the past. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency notes that Acacia rigidula is a problem for athletes who should be aware the supplements may contain banned ingredients.

  2 comments for “Acacia rigidula, an amphetamine-like drug, is found in supplements

  1. Peter Robinson
    November 20, 2013 at 4:02 AM

    Has anyone asked the FDA why they have failed to take action? I am not suggesting there is any good reason, just that it may be a way to put pressure on them.

  2. Someguy
    November 20, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    I don’t think they can. The whole “dietary supplement” market is largely unregulated. I think the most they could nail them for is false claims on what ingredients are or aren’t present.

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