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Supplements Like OxyElite Pro: More Dangerous Than They Seem?

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The use of dietary and fitness supplements is like OxyElite Pro are on the rise. Sometimes, they can do more harm than good.


According to the CDC, 40% of adults reported using dietary supplements in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. Now,  more than half of American adults take supplement like OxyElite Pro or Jack3d. The supplement market is reportedly worth $50 billion dollars worldwide. The term “supplement” can be applied to things such as:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Herbs
  • Amino acids
  • Plant Extract

Recently, the supplement business has come under increasing scrutiny for misleading marketing practices and unsafe ingredients in their products. The New York Times published an article this month warning that herbal supplements often do not contain the ingredients they are supposed to. The article examines a study performed by Canadian researchers using complicated genetic fingerprinting to determine the DNA material present in popular herbal supplements. The researchers found that popular pills labeled as herbal supplements often contain cheap alternatives instead, including soybean, wheat, rice, and nut products.

The supplement industry has had its worst safety record with its dietary and fitness boosting products. In June 2011 Michael Lee Sparling, a 22-year-old private in the army, collapsed and died after running for just ten minutes with his unit. It was later discovered that Michael had been taking a supplement called Jack3d, which USPlabs marketed as a booster of strength, energy, power and endurance. Michael’s parents, Leanne and Michael Sparling, recently filed a lawsuit alleging that Jack3d killed their son.

The primary ingredient used in Jack3d is dimethylamylamine (DMAA). Several other fitness boosters use this compound including OxyElite Pro, MethylHex, Napalm, Lean EFX and more. According to the FDA’s warning letter to consumers, DMAA can elevate blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest. Given the known biological activity of DMAA, the ingredient may be particularly dangerous when used with caffeine.In addition to cardiac issues,  OxyElite Pro has also been linked to liver failure.

Since this letter was issued, every manufacturer of fitness boosters using DMAA has agreed to stop using it in their products. USPlabs initially attempted to argue that DMAA was found in the herb Pelargonium graveolens, but the FDA didn’t buy it and administratively detained the products.  USPlabs exventually gave in and agreed to reformulate their products containing DMAA, including OxyElite Pro. The Department of Defense also performed a study on DMAA and has subsequently banned the sale of supplements with DMAA, like OxyElite Pro and Jack3d, on all U.S. military bases.

F.D.A. regulations unfortunately provide a safe-haven for manufacturers looking to push the boundaries of safety. Generally, manufacturers do not need to register their products with FDA or get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers must only make sure that product label information is truthful and that their supplements comply with the Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practices. Those guidelines only require companies to test their products themselves, with no outside input or oversight. According to the FDA, 70% of supplement firms do not adhere to good manufacturing practices. As long as FDA regulations remain lax, we will unfortunately continue to see supplement-caused injuries.

If you or someone you love has been affected by dietary supplements such as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, please contact us online or call us at 800-829-7037 for a free and completely confidential consultation with a lawyer. Our team of experienced pharmaceutical attorneys here at Ashcraft & Gerel has  successfully handled lawsuits on behalf of clients who have been injured by Fen-Phen, Rezulin, Propulsid, Gadolinium, Ortho Evra, Vioxx, Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), and many other drugs and medical devices.