Several months ago, I got wind of a lawsuit involving a positive methylhexanamine (MHA) test that resulted in the suspension of an elite American sprinter. That sprinter subsequently sued the maker of the product, which just happened to be USPLabs, who sell the world’s most popular preworkout supplement – Jack3d – which relies heavily on MHA. At the great personal expense of .08c/page, I proceeded to pull all of the court documents surrounding the lawsuit, and spent a day reading them*.
Lo and behold I saw Don Catlin’s name in there (*on the payroll of the guy who tested positive), along with Anthony Almada, and some other guy, all working for the plaintiff against USPLabs. Almada’s name will be familiar to anyone who is old enough to remember Muscle Media 2000, as he was the guy who founded EAS and first brought creatine to the market (along with Ed Byrd). He’s got a degree (B.Sc.) in physiology and nutritional biochemistry from UCAL (Irvine) and performed his graduate (M.Sc.) research at UCAL (Berkeley). Anyway, the point here is that he know his sh!t.
It turns out that some of the research he’d been doing (related to this case) will cause a Tsunami throughout the entire industry:
Methylhexanamine is not found in Geranium.
In other words, it appears that this ingredient is not actually found naturally where manufacturers are claiming it is. That’s a huge no-no to the FDA, as it violates numerous laws. And it appears that the oft-cited study that purportedly shows the presence of MHA in geranium was conducted with less-than-rigorous techniques. Furthermore, subsequent studies have revealed that there is no MHA present in any part of the geranium plant. Had USPLabs settled out of court, it seems unlikely that this discovery would have been made (or at least made so quickly).
I’m predicting that most major retailers will be pulling MHA off their shelves in the 2011 calender year, and I know for a fact that several major supplement companies have already got plans underway to remove it from their product line. This is no different than the prediction I made in August of last year, when I said that it would ultimately get pulled off the market. Since MHA is the backbone of USPLabs’ product line, this could have a similar effect on them as the removal of ephedrine had on TwinLab:
Again, I’m probably dating myself here, but when ephedrine got pulled off the market TwinLab never recovered, since their only product that was worth a sh!t was Ripped Fuel, and the boneheads in charge of the company lacked the creativity to come up with a suitable alternative. Bankruptcy soon followed…
Jacob, the owner of USPLabs, has repeatedly stated that he has lined up a replacement for the ingredient, should it become an untenable proposition to continue selling it.
[*P.S – the case was pretty interesting…especially the part where the plaintiff’s lawyers inadvertently published confidential information, which ultimately led to another lawsuit being filed against USPLabs.]
[** Also, to be fair, this is something Matt Cahill has been saying for months, i.e. that MHA is not found in geranium]