Monday, October 14, 2013

Tough Pill to Swallow: Methamphetamine Analog Identified in ‘Craze’ Workout Supplement

English: 2D structure of stimulant drug metham...
English: 2D structure of stimulant drug methamphetamine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From Wiley:

Muscles and Meth: Drug Analog Identified in ‘Craze’ Workout Supplement
Danger of U.S. Federal Shutdown Preventing FDA Ban, Scientists Warn

An international team of scientists have identified potentially dangerous amounts of methamphetamine analog in the workout supplement Craze, a product widely sold across the U.S. and online. The study, published in Drug Testing and Analysis, was prompted by a spate of failed athletic drug tests. The results reveal the presence of methamphetamine analog N,α- DEPEA, which has not been safely tested for human consumption, in three samples.

“In recent years banned and untested drugs have been found in hundreds of dietary supplements. We began our study of Craze after several athletes failed urine drug tests because of a new methamphetamine analog,” said lead author Dr. Pieter Cohen, of Harvard Medical School, U.S.A.

A workout supplement marketed as a ‘performance fuel’, Craze is manufactured by Driven Sports, Inc., and is sold in stores across the United States and internationally via body supplement websites.

The supplement is labeled as containing the compound N,N-diethyl-phenylethylamine (N,N-DEPEA), claiming it is derived from endangered dendrobium orchids. However, while there is no proof that this compound is found within orchids, it is also structurally similar to the methamphetamine analog N,α-diethylphenylethylamine (N,α-DEPEA), a banned substance.
The team analyzed three samples of Craze for traces of N,α-DEPEA. The first sample was brought from a mainstream retailer in the U.S., while the second and third samples were ordered from online retailers in the U.S. and Holland.

The team used ultra-high performance liquid chromatography to detect the presence of N,α-DEPEA. The first two samples were analyzed by NSF International, while the third was tested at the Netherland’s National Institute for Public Health. The findings were independently corroborated by the Korean Forensic Service, which confirmed the presence of N,α-DEPEA in two further samples of Craze in a parallel investigation.

“We identified a potentially dangerous designer drug in three separate samples of this widely available dietary supplement,” said Cohen. “The tests revealed quantities of N,α-DEPEA of over 20mg per serving, which strongly suggests that this is not an accidental contamination from the manufacturing process.”

As a structural analog of methamphetamine, N,α-DEPEA , may have stimulant and addictive qualities; however, it has never been studied in humans and its adverse effects remain unknown.

The product labeling claims that Craze contains several organic compounds, known as phenylethylamines. However, phenylethylamines are a very broad category of chemicals which range from harmless compounds found in chocolate to synthetically produced illegal drugs.

“The phenylethylamine we identified in Craze, N,α-DEPEA, is not listed on the labeling and it has not been previously identified as a derivative of dendrobium orchids,” said Cohen.
“If these findings are confirmed by regulatory authorities, the FDA (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration) must take action to warn consumers and to remove supplements containing N,α-DEPEA from sale,” concluded Cohen. “Our fear is that the federal shutdown may delay this, resulting in potentially dangerous supplements remaining widely available.”

Full citation: Cohen. P, Travis. J, Venhuis. B, ‘A methamphetamine analog (N,α-diethyl-phenylethylamine) identified in a mainstream dietary supplement’, Drug Testing and Analysis, Wiley, DOI 10.1002/dta.1578 
URL Upon Publication:

About the Journal:
Rather than focus on the application of a single technique, Drug Testing and Analysis employs a unique multidisciplinary approach to the field of controversial compound determination. Papers discussing chromatography, mass spectrometry, immunological approaches, 1D/2D gel electrophoresis, to name just a few select methods, are welcomed where their application is related to six major topics: Sports doping, Illicit/recreational drugs use, Pharmaceuticals, Toxico-pathology, Forensics/homeland security, and environment.
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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blue Man Group Entertains Universe - Bryzgalov That Is

Russia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save ...
Russia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save in a game against Slovakia during the 2010 Winter Olympics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Professional hockey player Ilya Bryzgalov (a.k.a. "Universe") was spotted enjoying Blue Man Group’s one year anniversary performance at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino on Thursday, Oct. 10. Bryzgalov is a former Olympian, won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in the 2006 – 2007 NHL season and currently serves as goaltender for the Las Vegas Wranglers. The athlete was accompanied by his wife and two kids and attended a private VIP meet-and-greet with cast members following the show."

Bryz could quite realistically find himself back in the NHL this season. Maybe even dressed in blue - the Edmonton Oilers are rumoured to be interested with their early season struggles.

ABOUT BLUE MAN GROUP LAS VEGASBlue Man Group has turbo-charged its show in Las Vegas with electrifying music, sensational technology, and innovative new ways of interacting with the audience. The mega-enhanced show at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino is a thrilling, energy-infused performance that introduces wildly inventive musical instruments, a humorous look at robots and creativity, and a mind-blowing (literally) tour inside the neural network of the human brain. Each night the Blue Men present an extraordinary spectacle and create a soulful, primal and euphoric experience that makes you feel vibrantly alive and more closely connected with the people around you.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Blue Man Group box office, any MGM Resorts International ticketing outlet,  or call 1.800.blueman. Fans can also keep up with the latest Blue Man Group Las Vegas news and events via Facebook at or Twitter at
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