Within months of each other, two soldiers, 22 and 32 years-old, died while participating in on-base fitness exercises with the rest of their respective platoon. Autopsies performed on both servicemen revealed the presence of dimethylamylamine (DMAA) in the toxicology reports, according to an Army spokesman. There have been additional mentions of DMAA in situations involving at least five other servicemen (3 soldiers and 2 Marines) who collapsed during heavy military exercise.
In recent years, the body-building community and the military community have seen an exponential increase in dietary supplement consumption. The largest selling product is Jack3d (pronounced “Jacked,”) manufactured by Dallas-based company USPlabs. Products like Jack3d contain DMAA, which is an ingredient the manufacturers advertise increases energy, concentration, and metabolism. Given the popularity within the military community, DMAA-based products like Jack3d were sold at on-base stores like GNC.
That changed in December 2011 after the Defense Department ordered an end to on-base sales of DMAA-based products sold as dietary supplements, including Jack3d. The ban was put in place immediately after the military concluded that the potential common denominator in the deaths of two soldiers and the collapsing of five additional servicemen was the consumption of DMAA products. The Defense Department ordered the temporary ban to investigate whether Jack3d and other DMAA-based products played a role in these mentioned incidents, and to determine if they are essentially safe for consumption.