Study Finds No DMAA in Geranium

June 28, 2012

2 Min Read
Study Finds No DMAA in Geranium

OXFORD, Miss.DMAA does not come from geranium oil, and supplements that contain DMAA are most likely synthetic in origin, according to a new study from ElSohly Laboratories Inc. (J Anal Toxicol. 2012 Jun 25).

1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA), also known as methylhexaneamine (MHA) is a controversial ingredient that has felt recent fire from FDA, which sent warning letters to 10 companies that market the ingredient questioning if the ingredient was derived from geranium. Other lawsuits have been filed alleging that DMAA is synthetic. Earlier this year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) prohibited its members from labeling the human-synthesized version as a derivative of geranium oil or any part of the geranium plant.

Nutrex, one of the companies that received an FDA warning letter for DMAA didn't argue that its DMAA wasn't synthetic; instead, it said FDA is incorrect to think synthetic forms of naturally occurring substances cannot be dietary ingredients. Further, Nutrex supplied seven studies to the agency to show DMAA has shown to be safe for use as directed.

In the ElSohly Lab study, researchers used both gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (CG-MS) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LCTMS) to examine authenticated geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) to determine if it contains detectable quantities of DMAA. The results were further confirmed using liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry.

They investigated 20 commercial volatile geranium oils, three authenticated volatile oils and authenticated geranium leaves and stems (young and mature, and fresh and dried). They also tested three dietary supplements containing DMAA that alleged geranium as the source.

The data showed none of the authenticated geranium essential oils or plant material, nor any commercial geranium oil contain DMAA at detectable levels of 10 ppb. They found the dietary supplements contained large amounts of DMAA. However, "The amounts of MHA [DMAA] measured are incompatible with the use of reasonable amounts of P. graveolens extract or concentrate, suggesting that MHA was of synthetic origin," the researchers wrote.

Learn how the DMAA issue affects the dietary supplement industry in the INSIDER article, "DMAA: Industry Under Siege" by Robert J. Herrington and Justin J. Prochnow.

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