POSTED: Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 9:49pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 7:07am
EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Most people take it to lose weight, build muscle, or enhance their performance at the gym. One personal trainer in El Paso says it's as common as drinking a Gatorade.
"Everybody takes this in the gym, right before their workout. It's kind of like taking your multi-vitamin before your workout, like you would think, before your walk or after your breakfast. It's just that common," said Hazael Dominguez.
It's an ingredient called DMAA, commonly used in work-out supplements like Jack3D. But according to the Food and Drug Administration, this ingredient can actually kill you because it may cause fatal heart problems or psychiatric disorders.
As of April 11th, 2013, the FDA says it's received 86 reports of illnesses and death associated with supplements containing DMAA.
"It was in 2011, where we took a stand here at Fort Bliss, which was not a very popular stance, against the drug companies and others to remove DMAA products from our shelves, like Jack3D from our GNC shelves here," said Major General Dana Pittard, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Commander.
General Pittard banned supplements containing DMAA in 2011, after two Fort Bliss soldiers collapsed during a physical training test and died. Their deaths were thought to be linked to the ingredient.
Although the FDA says there is no proof that DMAA directly causes potentially fatal health problems, experts urge users to consult with a professional before taking it.
"The biggest thing that a trainer or a strength and conditioning coach can tell a client is that first of all, get the proper screening. Make sure there is no underlying condition," said Dominguez.