The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning last week that several workout-booster and fat-burning products should be pulled from the market immediately because they contain an ingredient called DMAA (dimethylamylamine). The products, Jack3D (pronounced Jacked) and OxyElite Pro, are both marketed by USPlabs.

Back in 2011 the FDA sent letters to all 10 marketers of DMAA products, asking them to voluntarily stop marketing such products. All but USPlabs complied. The company continues to claim that the products are safe and legal.

According to the FDA, there have been 86 reports of health problems, including 5 deaths, among persons taking products containing DMAA. That does not prove that DMAA is dangerous, of course, and its not even the primary reason the FDA is asking that the products be removed from shelves. The FDA simply argues that DMAA does not fit the legal definition of a dietary supplement, and therefore it cannot be sold without prior FDA approval. I would agree; it's a drug. DMAA was actually developed by a pharmaceutical company in the 1940s and sold as a nasal decongestant until the 1980s. It stretches credulity a bit to suggest that it is a natural “supplement to the diet” when added to a workout-boosting product.

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