Hidden Ingredient in Dietary Supplement Likely Cause of Stroke in Patient

Hidden BMPEA in Dietary Supplement
Hidden BMPEA in Dietary Supplement

(HealthDay News) — β-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA), which is found in dietary supplements marketed to promote weight loss and improve exercise workouts, combined with exercise can cause hemorrhagic stroke, according to a case report published online May 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Pieter A. Cohen, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues describe the case of a patient with hemorrhagic stroke, which was likely caused by exercise combined with BMPEA. The patient, a 53-year-old women, presented with one day of numbness and clumsiness in her left hand which started shortly after beginning a rigorous exercise routine that she had repeated several times a week for a few years.

The researchers found that the patient had no relevant medical history and did not receive any medications; she was of normal weight, physically active, and had low blood pressure. She reported having consumed a sports supplement 30 minutes prior to exercise. She had not previously consumed this or any similar sports supplement. Computed tomography showed a 2cm hemorrhage in the right parietal lobe; magnetic resonance imaging showed the hemorrhage with no underlying abnormalities. The sport supplement label did not list BMPEA or Acacia rigidula, but in a general screening of the supplement, BMPEA was found and confirmed at 290mg per dose.

"Exercise combined with BMPEA, an isomer of amphetamine, probably caused this patient's stroke," the authors write.

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