MHRA pull the plug on dangerous sports supplements
31st August 2012
A popular sports supplement drink used for losing weight or as a pre-exercise boost agent for gym fanatics, has this week been banned from the UK market by The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after the Governmental agency deemed that Jack3D’s side effects were potentially dangerous. Their main concern was due to the product containing the stimulant known as DMAA (1, 3-dimethylamylamine). Ingestion of DMAA has been shown to be connected to shortness of breath, narrowing of arteries, psychiatric disorders, vomiting, heart attacks and strokes.  Due to the safety concerns, the MHRA have long campaigned for any products that contain DMAA to be classified as unlicensed medicinal products and should be governed by strict medicine controls. DMAA has already been banned in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Association following the death of a man who had obtained a sports aid through the internet that had contained the lethal substance. In addition, there would have been no chance of any athletes taking it at the London Olympics earlier in the month, as DMAA is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substances. Sports supplements with DMAA have long gotten away with such free public sale as a ‘medicinal product’ due to the potent herbal properties in them. However, as the dangers have become more and more apparent, action needed to be taken and this came in the form of the MHRA issuing eight ‘urgent notices’ ordering all retailers to immediately withdraw Jack3D and all other similar products  that have DMAA in them. David Carter, the Manager of the MHRA’s Medicines Borderline Section, spoke on the risks about the drug and said, “People need to be aware when choosing their sports supplements. These products may claim to increase performance but contain powerful ingredients which can have serious side-effects. We recommend that people only use approved products and speak to a qualified medical practitioner if they have any concerns about any supplements they may be taking.” Graham Arthur, Director of Legal at UK Anti-Doping, added to David Carter’s comments and he said, “This is a significant step forward for all competitive athletes as methylhexaneamine (DMAA) is a banned substance ‘in-competition’ that frequently appears in over the counter and internet bought products but not clearly on the label.  Athletes who use sports supplements need to choose reputable manufacturers who can justify their claims with scientific evidence, and have their products screened to minimise the risk of testing positive for a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List. UK Anti-Doping continues to work closely with the MHRA to protect the health of athletes and to prevent doping in sport.”