Nutritional Medicine , Separating Fact from Fiction
Questions from a curious public started pouring in from all over the globe about this supplement that many of you have heard about, or know it by different names, but with the same offending chemical –DMAA. A few years back a weight loss supplement called Oxy-Elite Pro came to the forefront of FDA's attention due to liver fatalities in our soldiers. Over 100 hepatitis cases were linked to Oxyelite Pro and the DMAA it contained. There were heart problems, strokes, heart attacks, people were ill.
After FDA ruled to take it off the market until it complied and removed the DMAA, the product began sneaking DMAA into the formula under various names related to the geranium plant, but were caught again. The company took DMAA out replacing it with Higenamine. At first blush, this appeared to be a safer alternative. However, when closely scrutinized, higenamine has not been tested orally in human subjects until this year in one small, poorly designed study.
We have nothing to guide us to therapeutic amounts, toxic amounts, side-effects, drug-interactions. We do know higenamine is a blood thinner, an anti-inflammatory, has been known to deplete dopamine levels and acts in a similar manner as ephedrine and synephrine.
But it hasn't stopped there. The FDA announced earlier in 2015 that they had found Prozac contamination in this product. Prozac is a known anti-depressant and taken by the wrong person can induce serotonin syndrome.
What does this fascination with Oxyelite Pro mean to RDs? We need to be diligent in teaching our fellow clinicians and patients about this product, other similar products and encourage alternative approaches. How many times does a product have to fall from grace to keep on trying to make us ill???