By: Martha Garcia | Published: October 16th, 2013
A new report indicates that the popular pre-workout supplement Craze “Performance Fuel” contains an amphetamin-like compound that is similar to meth, leading the manufacturer to suspend production.
In a study published this week in the medical journal Drug Testing and Analysis, researchers from Harvard Medical School, NSF International, and The National Institute of Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands indicated that the Craze bodybuilding supplement tested positive for the compound n-alpha DEPEA, which is chemically similar to methamphetamine and an analog, or chemical cousin, to meth.
Two independent labs tested three samples of the product from three different lots. All tests revealed the same results, a meth-like ingredient was present in Craze.
Researchers call the compound a “potentially dangerous designer drug,” indicating that the chemical’s stimulant and addictive properties are unknown since the drug has never been tested on humans. They caution regulatory agencies to “act expeditiously to warn consumers and remove n-alpha DEPEA from all dietary supplements.”
While the product tested positive for the compound, the Craze label does not list the chemical in the ingredients. Researchers found one serving provided approximately 21 to 35 mg of the chemical.
Driven Sports Denies Research Results
In light of recent controversy surrounding the product and the questionable ingredient, Driven Sports, the manufacturer of Crave, ceased production and sale of Craze several months ago.
According to a statement published Driven Sport’s website, the manufacturer denies that Craze contains amphetamines and indicates that the product contains dendrobium, a naturally occurring phenylethylamine compound.
The company alleges dendrobium has a similar chemical composition, but is entirely different. The statement goes on to explain the difficulty involved in testing for the two chemicals, which often leads to incorrect results, and indicate that the scientists in this latest study are mistaking the compound for amphetamine. In their own testing, the company says the compound tested negative for amphetamine chemicals.
Driven Sports claims it will keep Craze production and sale on hold until the matter has been properly clarified and the safety of the product has been investigated fully.
Craze is marketed as a “performance fuel.” However, initial concerns and testing stemmed from failed urine tests by pro-athletes after taking Craze.
Pieter Cohen and the team of researchers involved in the study which tested Craze, warn consumers not to be fooled by claims that the product does not contain amphetamines. A similar study conducted in South Korea found the same meth-like substance when testing Craze. That study was published in August in the journal Forensic Toxicology.
The findings of the study are particularly troublesome considering the FDA’s limited authority in regulating dietary supplements. The FDA does not have the authority to require pre-market testing of supplements, vitamins, minerals and herbal pills. More so, the agency can only review a supplement if it contains a new ingredient. It cannot review a product for approval based on safety or effectiveness.
The controversy comes as another body building dietary supplement, OxyElite Pro, is also under investigation. State and federal health agencies began taking a closer look at the USPLabs product after a number of cases of acute hepatitis and liver damage in Hawaii. USPLabs has also halted production of that supplement as the investigation into the possible cause of the OxyElite Pro liver problems continue.