Health Canada Considers BMPEA Pharmaceutical that is ‘Not Naturally Derived’

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Pleas that FDA eliminate an amphetamine-like substance from dietary supplements bring to light stark differences in how Canada’s regulator has treated the stimulant.

FDA recently said it hasn’t identified “a specific safety concern” in connection with BMPEA based on its review of the available information of products that contain the substance.

Health Canada, on the other hand, has referenced a number of adverse health effects associated with two stimulants including BMPEA that were found in a bodybuilding product. In an emailed statement Friday, Health Canada said it has classified BMPEA (beta-methylphenethylamine) as a pharmaceutical and does not consider it a “naturally derived” substance.

American researchers led by the physician Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School found the amphetamine-like substance in a number of weight-loss and sports supplements sold in the United States. The supplements are labeled as containing Acacia rigidula, a shrub native to Texas.

The research, published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, has stoked criticism of FDA in Washington because the agency hasn’t taken steps to remove BMPHE-containing supplements from the U.S. market. The authors cited research in the early 20th century that found the amphetamine-like substance increased blood pressure and heart rates in cats and dogs.

Last year, Health Canada identified a bodybuilding product that contained BMPEA and another amphetamine-like substance known as phenylpropylmethylamine. In an advisory published in December 2014, the agency disclosed the product known as Jetfuel Superburn was recalled and characterized the “amphetamine-like drug substances” as posing “serious health risks.”

“These stimulants can increase blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature; lead to serious cardiovascular complications (including stroke) at high doses; suppress sleep and appetite, and be addictive,” Health Canada said Friday in the emailed statement. “Jetfuel Superburn also contains caffeine, which can increase these effects when combined with beta-methylphenethylamine and phenylpropylmethylamine.”

Cohen and his colleagues said BMPEA is not a naturally occurring substance and doesn’t belong in supplements. Canadian health officials feel similarly.

Source: natural products insider

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