Indeed, in their review, Travis and his colleagues found just five products in 24 that listed a specific quantity of higenamine, and none of those quantities were accurate. Traces of the stimulant varied from none to 62 milligrams per serving based on the product, but the researchers said their calculations showed users could be exposed to up to 110 milligrams of the substance a day.
Co-author Pieter Cohen, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Cambridge Health Alliance, said the health risks of higenamine aren’t well understood.
“Higenamine is a stimulant found in plants,” he said in the release. “When it comes to higenamine, we don’t yet know for certain what effect high dosages will have in the human body, but a series of preliminary studies suggest that it might have profound effects on the heart and other organs.”