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(Ma-Huang, Ephedra)

What is it?

Ephedrine is a decongestant.

Does it occur naturally in the body?

No. Ephedrine alkaloids are members of a large family of pharmacological compounds called sympathomimetics. Sympathomimetics mimic the effect of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which do occur naturally in the human body.

What are the claims?

Ephedrine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases blood pressure and suppresses appetite, allowing people to burn more fat and lose weight.

Does it work?

Ephedrine does increase blood pressure and has been shown to suppress appetite.

What are the dangers?

Heart attack, seizures, stroke and severe mental disorders. Even as a prescribed drug, it is not recommended to take ephedrine for more than seven days in a row.

In 2004 the FDA banned the sale of all dietary supplements with ephedrine in them after concluding the products were too dangerous for sale to the public.

In 2005 a court overturned the FDA ban and allowed products with low doses of ephedrine to be sold.

In 2006 a federal appeals court upheld the FDA ban and once again banned the sale of all products containing ephedrine.

The Bottom Line

Ephedrine is a dangerous drug.

Unless prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition, we cannot recommend the supplement ephedrine.

Links for More Info

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Logo and Link
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products - Extensive Information from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - Overviews on Herbal Treatments and Supplements

National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health - Office of Dietary Supplements
National Institutes of Health - Office of Dietary Supplements

Operation Supplement Safety
Operation Supplement Safety

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Logo and Link
United States Department of Agriculture

WebMD Logo and Link
WebMD - Helping you make better decisions for life.

We at WeBeFit DO NOT recommend ANY supplements to ANY of our clients. ONLY a licensed Nutritionist or Medical Doctor can make those recommendations based on your individual needs.

This is being provided for INFORMATIONAL and EDUCATIONAL purposes only.

CAUTION: These supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety, effectiveness or purity. There may be unknown risks associated with taking any supplements. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for companies that make supplements. There have been instances where herbal or health supplements have been sold that were contaminated with toxic substances. If you should choose to purchase herbal or health supplements, please only purchase them from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

If you should decide to use ANY supplement, ALWAYS consult your doctor or Nutritionist first.