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Meet DMAA's replacement: Dendrobium extract


FDA has DMAA in its crosshairs, prompting manufacturers to seek out other workout ingredients. The latest? Dendrobium extract from orchids.

As momentum behind the removal of DMAA from the supplement market snowballs, many preworkout manufacturers are in search of new natural stimulants to replace the contentious ingredient.

ErgoGenix CEO James Klein, for example, told Fox News in February that his company had stopped using DMAA in its ErgoPump and ErgoBurn products to ahead of the curve, and instead uses N-Methyltyramine, a stimulant alkaloid found in bitter orange. Bitter orange has its own demons—a source close to Nutrition Business Journal has quipped that the extract has more science proving what it isn’t than what it is. Venable LLP partner Todd Harrison told me last week that synthetic forms of synephrine—a bitter orange extract—are likely to come under similar scrutiny as DMAA.

But another extract has emerged as a new contender in preworkout stimulant—Dendrobium nobile (or Dendrobium officinale), a type of orchid. One of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, Dendrobium stem extract appears in the popular preworkout Craze from Driven Sports. It appears on Craze’s ingredient list under the trademark Dendrobex. Interestingly, Craze also uses N-Methyltyramine—under the trademark Citramine—though it lists the source as Citrus reticulate, or mandarin orange.

According to Loren Israelsen of the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), Dendrobium extract appears on UNPA’s list of Old Dietary Ingredients (ODIs)—those ingredients on the market prior to the 1994 passage of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act. It also appears in the book Herbs of Commerce from the American Herbal Products Association.

The question, of course, is whether Dendrobex has been altered in any way to change its status as an ODI. (Geranimine, for example, was the trademark that chemist Patrick Arnold used to try to qualify synthetic DMAA as a geranium extract.) If Dendrobex is at all altered, it would theoretically require a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) notification.

More on this as it develops. Stay sharp out there, manufacturers.

Discuss this Blog Entry 11

on May 10, 2012

I guess the question for any of these is, do they work better than plain old caffeine? It seems as if there is, broadly speaking, a push in the marketplace toward "clean label" products. In other words, products that achieve their benefits with the fewest possible ingredients. Are consumers of workout products looking for the opposite? Do they show a preference for products that include as much stuff as possible? Even in Jack3D, the USPLabs product that appears to be the biggest seller among the DMAA products, the ingredients arginine, creatine, beta-alanine and caffeine are included in greater amounts than DMAA.

Alex Schauss (not verified)
on May 10, 2012

I am puzzled by the promotion of as Dendrobium officinale as it is a "critically endangered perennial herb endemic to China" (Li X, et al. Genetica 2008, 133: 159-166), and "endanger medicinal herb endemic to China" (Ding G, et al. Genetika, 2009, 45: 375-382). It is also very subject to misidentification, a subject of numerous papers in the literature. So why promote or market something with this kind of history, while at the same time there is not compelling evidence that an extract of this endangered herb has the attributes of synthetic DMAA. What am I missing?

on Nov 26, 2012

Dear Alex, I know your worries.
I am Stanford Lee from Synmr Industry Ltd, Shanghai, China. I have my clients in the US have the same conerns like you. In fact, the endangered is for the wild plants. There are many factories growing dendrobium extract in China. So there is no need to worry about whether it is endangered or not. Dendrobium is said to contain natural B-Phenylethylamine, N,N-Dimethyl-B-Phenylethylamine, and N,N-Diethyl-B-Phenylethylamine.

Our specification for dendrobium extracts available are 1%, 5%, 10% , 20% and 10:1, 20:1. For more information, you guys can reach us at or email me at

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 17, 2012

The manufacturing process for Dendrobium is no different than that for DMAA. It is completely synthetic and technically requires an NDI. Any company saying that it’s “natural” has had the wool pulled over their eyes.

on Apr 7, 2013

HANGZHOU LINGEBA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. is a professional manufacturer of Dendrobium Extract, and we have our own Dendrobium production base.
We have Dendrobium Polysaccharides 5%, 10%, 20% and 50%; Dendrobium Alkaloids 1%, 5%, 10% and 20%; Dendrobine 98%.
There is so much controversy about Dendrobium Extract, whatever it is useful or not. The best way is try and test it. Any enquiry about Dendrobium Extract feel free to contact us. We can supply samples for test.

Bubble Lin
Sales Manager

on Jul 24, 2013

In fact, No need to worry about the plant origin ( Dendrobium Nobile) of Dendrobium Extract, Pioneer Herb Industrial Co.,Ltd have very large area of planting base in China.

Dendrobium Nobile Extract is very SAFE and EFFICIENT:

1. The Noble Dendrobium, Dendrobium nobile, is a member of the family Orchidaceae, a kind of orchids. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is one of the most widespread ornamental members of the family.

2 . Main chemical compositions: Alkaloids, sesquiterpenoids, Phenanthrenes,Bibenzyls, small amount of polysaccharides.

3 . Main active alkaloid: Dendrobine, Dendroxine, Dendramine, nobilonine, 6-hybroxydendrobine, B-Phenylethylamine, N,N-Dimethyl-B-Phenylethylamine, and N,N-Diethyl-B-Phenylethylamine, etc.

The composition of the above is 100% natural ingredients in Dendrobium Nobile extract! No Additives!

4. Only 80 milligrams dose can achieve very good effect!

More and more natural extracts will be welcome!

Let's discuss together if you are interested in our Dendrobium extract.

Kandy zhu

Gregory Angellus (not verified)
on Aug 4, 2013


I am just wandering what dosages for the different types of Dendrobium?

Concentration 10:1
Concentration 50:1
Dendrobium polysaccharides 5%
Dendrobium polysaccharides 10%
Dendrobium polysaccharides 20%
Dendrobium alkaloids 1%

There is not much information readily available

Any help would be much appreciated

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on Nov 15, 2014

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