WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- New research has found the substance higenamine – which has already been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – in several supplements that either listed incorrect amounts or did not list it at all.
- High doses of weight loss and workout supplement higenamine “might have profound effects on the heart and other organs.”
- The study warns doctors and consumers alike to be wary of the substance which might impact cardiovascular health.
A new study warns about potentially harmful doses of an unsafe substance in a number of weight loss and workout supplements.
All athletes were banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from taking drugs or supplements containing higenamine, a beta-2 agonist that may have toxic effects on the heart. But scientists’ recent analysis revealed that higenamine is a widely used ingredient in supplements that do not properly list the dosage.
Analysis done on 24 supplements for weight loss or pre-workout that listed higenamine — also known as norcoclaurine and demethylcoclaurine — showed varying and unreliable amounts.
The 24 supplements analyzed were: Adrenal Pump, Apidren, Beta-Stim, Burn-HC, Defcon1 Second Strike, Diablo, DyNO, Gnar Pump, Higenamine, High Definition, HyperMax, iBurn2, Liporidex Max, Liporidex PLUS, LipoRUSH DS2, N.O. Vate, OxyShred, Prostun-Advanced Thermogenic, Pyroxamine, Razor8, Ritual, Stim Shot, ThermoVate, and Uplift.
What was worrisome was that only five of the supplements mentioned an exact quantity of higenamine, and the listed quantities were found to be incorrect.
John Travis, a senior research scientist at NSF International in Ann Arbor, MI, warns, “We’re urging competitive and amateur athletes, as well as general consumers, to think twice before consuming a product that contains higenamine… some of these products contain extremely high doses… with unknown safety and potential cardiovascular risks when consumed.”
The actual quantities of higenamine found ranged from trace amounts to 62 milligrams per serving. But according to the label instructions, users may take up to about 110 milligrams of the substance per day, which could be harmful in unpredictable ways.
Study co-author Dr. Pieter Cohen explained that while the exact effects of high dosages of higenamine is still unknown, “a series of preliminary studies suggest that it might have profound effects on the heart and other organs.”
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 reported that about 23,005 E.R. visits in the United States were traced to supplement intake.
Travis explains, “While higenamine is considered a legal dietary ingredient when present as a constituent of botanicals, our research identified concerning levels of the stimulant and wildly inaccurate labeling and dosage information. And, as a WADA-prohibited substance, any amount of higenamine in a dietary supplement should be of concern to the competitive athlete.”
In conclusion, the study advises the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize their guidelines on supplement ingredients to better protect consumers and warns doctors of the substance’s impact on cardiovascular health.
The findings have been published in the journal Clinical Toxicology.
Source: Medical News Today