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posted: 10/21/2013 6:00 AM

Your health: Supplement may contain meth-like party drug

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  • Be careful about what supplements you are taking. Some may have a meth-like party drug in them.

    Be careful about what supplements you are taking. Some may have a meth-like party drug in them.


Supplement risk

Health officials often warn people taking dietary supplements that they may not know everything that's in their shakes, because the products are not subjected to the rigorous testing required by the government for medications.

Now, according to CBS News, a Harvard researcher is warning a dietary supplement he tested called Craze may contain a meth-like party drug.

"Alarmingly, we have found a drug in a mainstream sports supplement that has never been studied in humans," says Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in a press release.

Scientists looked into the Craze supplement, marketed by Driven Sports, Inc., after it was flagged in several failed drug tests. Cohen teamed up with the independent testing global health organization NSF International to analyze Craze's contents.

What they found was a substance called N, alpha-diethylphenylethylamine (N, a-DEPEA), which the researchers called structurally similar to methamphetamine. Their analysis put the stimulant at a level less potent than methamphetamine, but more potent than ephedra, a stimulant banned by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003 after it was linked to heart attacks.

N, a-DEPEA was not listed on the product's label and may be harmful, according to the researchers.

Glycemic index

If you have diabetes, you know all too well that when you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes up, says Harvard Medical School.

The total amount of carbs you consume at a meal mostly determines what your blood sugar will do. But the food itself also plays a role.

One way to choose foods is with the glycemic index (GI). This tool measures how much a food boosts blood sugar.

Using the glycemic index is easy: choose foods in the low GI category instead of those in the high GI category (see below), and go easy on those in between.

• Low glycemic index (GI of 55 or less): Most fruits and vegetables, beans, pasta, low-fat dairy foods, and nuts.

• Moderate glycemic index (GI 56 to 69): White and sweet potatoes, corn, white rice, couscous.

• High glycemic index (GI of 70 or higher): White bread, rice cakes, most crackers, bagels, cakes, doughnuts, croissants, most packaged breakfast cereals.

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