November 2014

Synthetic Stimulant Similar to DMAA Identified in Dietary Supplements

1,3-dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), a synthetic stimulant that is similar to 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA), has been identified in many dietary supplements, according to a new study.

DMAA is a stimulant banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has been used in dietary supplements, often sports supplements, and marketed as a natural ingredient. According to the FDA, this substance is unsafe, potentially causing high blood pressure, heart problems, seizures and other complications including death. DMBA is a stimulant similar to DMAA that has not been studied in humans, but likely causes similar effects.

In a recent study, researchers collected all dietary supplements sold in the United States that listed an ingredient on the label that might be an alternative marketing name for DMBA, such as AMP Citrate and 4-Amino methylpentane Citrate from Pochung Tea. Fourteen dietary supplements were ultimately identified and analyzed by two laboratories.

DMBA was identified in 12 of the 14 tested products. The products containing DMBA were marketed to increase weight loss, brain function and athletic performance. The amount of DMBA in these products ranged from 13 to 120mg per serving or 26 to 320mg of DMBA daily.
The authors concluded that DMBA is being added to dietary supplement without research in humans on its safety and effectiveness. Consumers should be warned about these products.


  1. Cohen PA, Travis JC, Venhuis BJ. A synthetic stimulant never tested in humans, 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), is identified in multiple dietary supplements. Drug Test Anal. 2014 Oct 8.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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