Craze supplements may contain a meth-like ingredient that is stronger than those banned in the United States. Craze is a pre-workout powder made by New York-based Driven Sports. It is marketed as containing only natural ingredients.
However, test results from samples of the supplement are enough to worry researchers. According to a study, conducted by the US and South Korean scientists, the substance could raise health and regulatory concerns, notes USA Today.
The US researchers added that they saw the same meth-like chemical in another supplement, called Detonate, which is sold by Gaspari Nutrition and marketed as an all-natural weight loss pill.
Craze was named 2012’s “New Supplement of the Year” by bodybuilding.com and is supposed to give “unrelenting energy and focus” during a workout. However, Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and co-author of the study, warned:
“It has never been studied in the body. Yes, it might make you feel better or have you more pumped up in your workout, but the risks you might be putting your body under of heart attack and stroke are completely unknown.”
CBS News notes that Cohen added in a press release, “The health risks of using supplements adulterated with a drug should not be underestimated.”
According to the study, which was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis, the Craze supplement contained N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine (N,a-DEPEA), which is structurally similar to meth. It is also more potent than ephedra, which the FDA banned in 2003 after it was linked to heart attacks.
Scientists first looked into the supplement after it was flagged in several failed drug tests. Cohen worked with SSF International, an independent testing global health organization, to analyze the contents of Craze. Both Craze and Detonate are sold in vitamin and supplement retail and online shops.
Cohen added that he hasn’t personally seen someone harmed by the Craze supplement, but he became interested in it after it appeared worldwide in urine tests of athletes who claimed they were only taking natural supplements.