London Marathon Runner's Banned Substance Use Contributed to Death
Last April, Claire Squires collapsed toward the end of the London Marathon, right by Buckingham Palace. Squires was running to raise money for an organization that helps prevent suicides. She's raised over 500,000 pounds in donations since her death (that's approximately $788,400).

Squires water bottle included a scoop of "Jack3D," a supplement which contains DMAA or dimethylamylamine, a stimulant. This substance is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances. Coroner Dr. Philip Barlow was quoted on as saying that DMAA, "in combination with extreme physical exertion, caused acute cardiac failure, which resulted in her death."

Jack3D is marketed as a "natural stimulant" to be used as a weight-loss aid and workout booster.

DMAA's Banned History

In 2011, DMAA was found in the bloodstreams of two young U.S. soldiers who died during training, causing the U.S. Defense Department to ban the sale of any products containing DMAA from base stores.

In August, 2012, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration banned use of DMAA.

According to the TGA:

  • DMAA has no health benefits and is a toxic substance.

  • Risks associated with its use include high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, bleeding in the brain and stroke.

  • Its long-term safety has not been demonstrated.

  • DMAA presents a high risk of abuse, misuse and illicit use.

Also in August, 2012, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) labeled Jack3D an unlicensed medicinal product and insisted that it should be removed from the UK market due to risk to public safety.

How to Spot DMAA

You probably wouldn't worry if you saw Geranium oil in an ingredients list. However, DMAA can be listed as geranium extract, geranium oil, leaf, stem or any other part of the geranium plant. Most experts believe that DMAA does not come from a natural source. The only study that found a connection between DMAA and geranium was done in 1996 in China in a no-peer-reviewed technical journal. These results have never been replicated.

DMAA was first mass-produced in the 1940s by pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lily for use in a nasal decongestant spray. When they tested the effects of DMAA in animals they found it had greater stimulant effects than ephedrine.

DMAA may be listed as any one of the following in ingredients lists:

  • DMAA

  • Geranamine, Geranium oil, extract, or any part of the geranium plant

  • 1,3-Dimethylamylamine

  • 1,3-dimethylpentylamine

  • methylhexaneamine (MHA)

  • methylhexanamine

  • methylhexamine

  • 4-methyl-2-hexanamine

  • 2-amino-4-methylhexane

DMAA Side Effects

  • Headaches

  • Tremors

  • Light-headedness

  • Depression

  • Dehydration

  • Cold sweats

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Liver and kidney failure

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Racing heartbeat

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Lethal exhaustion

  • Death