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GNC Jack3d Supplement Linked to Heart Attacks

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The health food supplement store, GNC is under fire after federal health regulators warned consumers about a popular new product called Jack3d. The store's website advertises the product as a snake oil of sorts that promises to boost strength, speed and endurance. The advertisement reads "hot buy, hot buy, hot buy" but federal health regulators say that the product contains a stimulant that can lead to heart attacks.

Jack3d contains a stimulant called dimethylamylamine (DMAA) that can raise blood pressure and heart rate, leading to heart attacks. In fact, the Defense Department removed all products containing DMAA from stores on military bases after two soldiers died after taking Jack3d. The maker of the product also faces a lawsuit filed by the mother of one of the soldiers who died after taking Jack3d. She claims that the company deceptively advertised Jack3d as safe and effective, while failing to warn consumers of the dangers.

The case of Jack3d highlights the gap in oversight safety for the supplements industry. Supplements are defined as natural products containing only dietary ingredients, but the pharmaceutical company Eli Lily originally developed the active ingredient in Jack3d as a prescription nasal decongestant in the 1940s. This raises questions about the safety of so-called natural supplements. Companies like GNC can use their name recognition to promote questionable products like Jack3d without any regulatory oversight to protect unknowing consumers.