‘Performance’ Supplement BMPEA Linked to Strokes

In April, the FDA sent warning letters to five nutritional supplement companies demanding that they stop selling products containing BMPEA, an amphetaminelike stimulant. This month, a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that this dangerous compound might cause a stroke.

We blogged last month about BMPEA-containing supplements promoted for weight-loss and sports performance, and how that ingredient often is disguised as a plant extract. Last week, a CBS News report recounted how a woman who took BMPEA before exercising suffered a stroke that might have been caused, said the journal report, by the supplement.

The 53-year-old was healthy when she took Jacked Power before her workout, as the label directed. Less than an hour later, her left hand was numb. She sought medical care, and a CT scan showed a brain hemorrhage.

Researchers analyzed the supplement in a lab. It contained a high dose of BMPEA, which was not listed in the ingredients on the label.

The woman went home after five days of hospitalization, but others might not be so lucky. If you experience an adverse event with any medicine or supplement, submit a safety report to the Department of Health and Human Services here, and to the FDA’s MedWatch site. And see Patrick’s newsletter, “Eat. Drink and Be Wary: The Truth About Diet Supplements and Sports Drinks.”

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