Holistic? More like holy-sh*it-now-my-heart-has-a-tic. Ok, that was a bit of a reach, but you get my point.
Pills from the rare Junkie Bush of the Southwest. (stock image)
Yuuup. In the ever-expanding annals of the journal Everything Is Bullsh*t And Nobody Is Stopping It (not a real scientific journal) comes this exciting new development: herbal weight-loss supplements contain not-herbal amphetamines that can only be manufactured in labs and have never been tested for safety in humans.
Actually, the real journal this was published in was Drug Testing and Analysis, and they found that more than half of 21 supplements touting the benefits of Acacia rigidula as a weight-loss cure contained ß-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA). If the gobbledygook nature of that chemical name tells you anything, it's that it is not derived from an acacia shrub species native to the American Southwest.
Surprise, surprise. Oh, wait, not surprising at all.
Amazingly, Drug Testing and Analysis carried out this study because the FDA had independently found BMPEA in the same supplements in 2013, and the journal wanted to see if that finding had led to supplement makers removing the chemical. Apparently, all this did was give supplement makers who weren't using untested amphetamines on humans a case of jealousy, because the levels of speed actually rose between the FDA's test and that in Drug Testing and Analysis.
10 of the speed-laced pills all come from the same Georgia company, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals (real organic-sounding, guys). They claim that BMPEA is a naturally-occurring alkaloid in the plants, which is directly refuted by this new study and the fact that no one has ever actually found that chemical in the plant.
Of course, herbal supplements don't require FDA approval, so it doesn't really matter what anyone says anyway. Attorneys general in states like New York do sometimes demand things be removed over fraudulent labeling, but in general this is a regulation-free Wild West. The kind of Wild West where the acacia plant grows, dies, and turns into a tumbleweed. A tumbleweed with no naturally-occurring speed.
On the other hand, untested amphetamines are generally pretty good weight-loss tools, as long as they don't cause heart palpitations and kill you.