By: Serena Crawford
Many people across the country take a supplement to help them to lose weight. They usually never work and can often be detrimental to your health. If you do lose weight with these you end up gaining it right back once you are done taking the supplements. The FDA has recently sent letters to multiple companies that produce supplements such as Conquer, Fastin-RR, and Critical FX due to an unsafe ingredient that is found in their products. This ingredient is called BMPEA which is an amphetamine-like chemical. It is known as Acacia rigidula on the supplements that contain it.
Harvard Medical School assistant professor Pieter Cohen, MD, recently published a letter that criticized the FDA for not saying anything to these companies about this potentially dangerous additive in supplements that many people are taking. Cohen states that athletes have been coming down with toxicity due to the supplements that they were taking to stay in shape. BMPEA can be called a “super caffeine” because of the effects that it has on the body. The problem is that it can cause long-term damage.
When too much of a stimulant is introduced to the body there are many different things that can happen. Your heart rate can skyrocket to the point where you begin to have palpitations and irregular heart rhythms. You begin to shake because your nervous system is put into overdrive. This is especially damaging if a woman is pregnant because when her heartbeat is irregular the fetus does not get enough blood to its brain which can end up leading to brain damage and birth defects. Amphetamines can also cause organ failure in the fetus as well as a miscarriage.
Big retailers such as Vitamin Shoppe and Vitacost have been taking these products off of the shelves in an effort to help their customers. While this is a good step in taking a stand against hidden and potentially dangerous additives there are still many supplements out there that are dangerous to the public. More research is being done to find other supplements that may be damaging people’s bodies in an effort to take dangerous chemicals off of the shelves.