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Here at Supplement Reviews UK we are always searching for the best healthy and effective supplements to help in your weight loss and workout battles. We put health first, buzz ingredients second.
Which is why we need to warn you about new research which claims that a number of work-out and weight loss supplement contain potentially harmful doses of an unsafe substance.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has already banned all athletes from taking supplements or drugs containing beta-2 agonist, Higenamine, known to be toxic to the heart.
And yet a team of scientists have discovered its presence in many dietary supplements, often included as a naturally occurring form found in the plant aconite.
WebMD warns that the plant aconite contains “chemicals that can seriously harm the heart, muscles, and nerves” and further warns “Do not use aconite. Aconite root is UNSAFE. All species of the plant are dangerous, and so are processed products.”
Side effects from consuming aconite in any form – caused by a fast-acting poison contained within the plant – include vomiting, weakness, breathing problems, heart issues and even death. Even using it as a lotion can be dangerous.
Yet despite this, researchers found it in many dietary supplements sold on the market today. Senior Research Scientist at NSF International in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., John Travis, warns that not only do some manufacturers still use it, but they do not even list the correct dosage in many cases.
Travis warned: “We’re urging competitive and amateur athletes, as well as general consumers, to think twice before consuming a product that contains Higenamine.
“Beyond the doping risk for athletes, some of these products contain extremely high doses of a stimulant with unknown safety and potential cardiovascular risks when consumed.”
Travis, whose findings are now published in the Clinical Toxicology journal, stresses that there is no way for a consumer to know just how much Higenamine there is in any product.
* Note that Higenamine is also known as norcoclaurine and demethylcoclaurine
More on the Study
Researchers examined 24 pre-workout or weight loss supplements for the presence of Higenamine in any of its forms. It soon became clear that there were unreliable and vastly differing amount of the substance in the supplements.
Only five of the supplements tested listed an exact dosage of Higenamine, but, say the scientists, the listed quantities were actually incorrect anyway.
The products analysed for the study were:
Adrenal Pump, Apidren, Beta-Stim, Burn-HC, Defcon1 Second Strike, Diablo, DyNO, Gnar Pump, Higenamine, High Definition, HyperMax, iBurn2, Liporidex Max, Liporidex PLUS, LipoRUSH DS2, N.O. Vate, OxyShred, Prostun-Advanced Thermogenic, Pyroxamine, Razor8, Ritual, Stim Shot, ThermoVate, and Uplift.
The quantities of Higenamine found varied from trace amounts to as much as 62mg per serving, which potentially increases to 110mg per day depending on usage instructions.
Study co-author, Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School, said: “Higenamine is a stimulant found in plants. When it comes to Higenamine, we don’t yet know for certain what effect high dosages will have in the human body, but a series of preliminary studies suggest that it might have profound effects on the heart and other organs.”
Avoid weight loss or pre-workout supplements that contain:
WebMD lists other names for it