Countless Americans take weight loss supplements to drop the pounds. But is this truly healthy?
“Some popular weight-loss supplements contain a synthetic compound that is chemically similar to the drug amphetamine, according to a new study by researchers at the Food and Drug Administration. However, the FDA has yet to take action regarding the findings, leading some scientists to criticize the agency,” according to Huffington Post.
The FDA analyzed many supplements and found the irregular ingredient in about half of them. One physician from Harvard Medical School told Huffington Post, “But 9 of the 21 dietary supplements tested were found to have an unnatural compound, called beta-methylphenethylamine, which is structurally similar to amphetamine. This compound has never before been tested in people, although animal studies suggest it may behave similarly to amphetamine, and could pose a public health risk. This is an outrageous situation, where the FDA's own in-house scientists are the ones who have discovered this, and shared it with the academic community.”
Huffington Post reports, “Cohen said that it's important to note that Acacia rigidula has never been used in herbal medicine or herbal remedies. That means that although the ingredient is "natural," it is illegal to use in any dietary supplements. If an ingredient does not have a history of being used as a supplement or herbal remedy, manufacturers must submit an application to the FDA for approval before using it in products.”
The doctor further concluded that the drug was purposely put in the supplement. He said, “The relatively high levels of beta-methylphenethylamine found in nine of the supplements indicate that the ingredient was not an accidental contaminant. Basically, the label 'Acacia rigidula' is being used as a cover for introducing a brand new synthetic drug similar to amphetamine. Amphetamines can make people feel energized, but also have serious risks, including addiction and increased risk of stroke. Because many weight-loss supplements have been found to contain illegal ingredients, people should avoid this class of supplements altogether.”