The safety of so called energy drinks and supplements have again been bought into question with a coroner ruling that one product likely contributed to the death of 30 year old Claire Squires in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon.
UK Coroner Philip Barlow stated that Squires ‘had taken a supplement containing DMAA which, on the balance of probabilities in combination with extreme physical exertion, caused acute cardiac failure which resulted in her death’.
DMAA has the chemical name methylhexanamine and is commonly known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine. It is traditionally sold as a diet, energy and body building supplement. It is believed that the DMAA was consumed by Squires in a product called Jack3d. DMAA is banned in many countries after links to a number of deaths by cardiac arrests, especially soldiers in the US Army.
Coroner Barlow added ‘My hope is that the coverage of this case and the events leading up to Claire’s death will help publicise the potentially harmful effects of DMAA during extreme –exertion.
‘She was obviously a very dedicated and well-motivated person. She died raising money for charity. I can only offer my condolences to all members of the family for a very tragic loss of an obviously dear person.’
Dr Jon van der Walt, who performed Squires’ post-mortem said that, on the ‘balance of probability’ based on his own examination of Squires and on evidence from the inquest, the cause of death had been a heart attack caused by ‘extreme physical exertion complicated by [DMAA]’.
Dr van de Walt added: ‘[Squires] had taken vigorous exercise over many years. I would regard that as a stress test: she has been able to do all this before, therefore it is unlikely that she had fatal arrhythmia.’
Have you ever used an energy supplement during your marathon preparation?