Diet Supplement Pill “Cousin” To Meth?

craze_2013Less than a week after health officials asked stores to pull a fat-burning supplement from shelves, another dietary supplement is coming under fire.

Craze, a sports supplement marketed to bodybuilders, contains a chemical compound similar to the illegal drug methamphetamine, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed Drug Testing and Analysis journal. The substance, called N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine or N,a-DEPEA, has never been studied in humans, according to Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the study.

Scientists tested three Craze samples from three different suppliers, according to the study. They found N,a-DEPEA in all three – about 20 to 35 milligrams of the drug in a serving size of the supplement. These dosages suggest it was “not a minor contaminant resulting from the manufacturing process,” the study authors wrote.

N,a-DEPEA is a methamphetamine analog, Cohen said, or a “cousin” to meth. Scientists first discovered the new drug approximately three years ago in South Korea.