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Despite FDA Warning, Sports Supplements Still Available Online: Study
Date:12/4/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- DMAA sports supplements have been linked to at least two deaths and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to 10 manufacturers last spring about a lack of data on their safety, but a new study finds these supplements can still be purchased online.

DMAA (dimethylamylamine) is a pre-workout supplement used by athletes to build muscle. Some research suggests that it may narrow blood vessels, which can elevate blood pressure, and may set the stage for a heart attack. Canada and the U.K have banned DMAA from all supplements.

Now, a small study published online Dec. 3 in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that all 16 of the products mentioned in the FDA's warning letters are still available through online retailers.

"The FDA has its wings clipped when it comes to dietary supplements because they have to prove harm in order to remove a product from the market," explained study author Philip Gregory, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. "I would imagine that the FDA is collecting data on adverse events and slowly building a case for potentially removing the product."

Efforts by HealthDay to reach the FDA for comment were unsuccessful.

The original FDA warning letters stated that the companies had not provided sufficient data showing the safety of their supplements, and gave the companies 15 business days to respond.

Gregory searched for products singled out by the FDA on Google, and found that all 16 were still available via online retailers and on sale directly from the manufacturers' websites. In addition, 12 of the 16 were available through General Nutrition Centers (GNC), and eight could be purchased via drugstore.com, the study showed.

People are drawn to DMAA supplements because they provide a quick fix, Gregory said. "The product pr
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