While no one is questioning the effectiveness of the supplement, scientists are saying that Craze’s proven “boost” may come from meth-like chemicals. Bodybuilders tout Craze for the edge that it delivers, but what’s the price to pay for getting that “pump,” or “feeling the burn?”
Meth, or the illegal drug methamphetamine, of course is not listed in the ingredients, but what is listed is a “proprietary blend” of chemicals, which could be almost anything.
Harvard researchers said it’s this so-called secret blend that has them worried, and that the chemicals they found are in the same family as meth.
The unlisted ingredient in question is “N-alpha-diethylphenylethylamine,” says Harvard, adding that the supplement is supposed to have an "orchid extract," but that they found no such ingredient.
“So I think they’re playing with stimulants to try and find something that will get people juiced up, revved up to work out and make them feel better,” said study researcher Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We found that, instead of anything from an orchid, it had an unlisted, practically unknown, cousin of methamphetamine.”
Harvard took on the project after some athletes failed a drug test, but were adamant about never using meth or any other banned substance.
“The recklessness of placing something that’s never been tested in a single human…into a mass-produced and mass-distributed supplement is really mind boggling,” Cohen said.
The makers of Craze, Driven Sports, say their product is tested and has proven safe, and say the Harvard research study is skewed. The “conclusions regarding the safety and composition of Craze have not changed: The product is safe and effective,” Driven Sports says.
Nevertheless, Walmart and GNC have since pulled Craze off their shelves. Other stores have followed suit.
Harvard scientists said they need to have their results confirmed by federal authorities, but that the government shutdown has furloughed the individuals responsible for overseeing Harvard’s results.
The report, released Monday in the Drug Testing and Analysis Journal.
So for now, the question of what exactly is in Craze remains.