Ephedra diet supplements are also known as Ma Huang. These are powerful stimulants found in popular “herbal phen-fen” weight loss products. Despite the widespread use of over-the-counter weight loss pills, there is only limited evidence that encourages weight loss. However, some studies, as well as thousands of satisfied ephedra users claim, support their use.
The Status Of Ephedra Diet
What is the status of ephedra diet supplements in the United States? In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that ephedra diet supplements were banned. The FDA first issued a rule on February 11, 2004, declaring that dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids carry an unreasonable risk of illness or injury.
After a long battle with the supplement industry, the FDA was finally able to ban the ephedra diet supplement. The FDA treats ephedra with more than 800 reports of dizziness, headache, chest pain, psychosis, convulsions, and stroke.
Some states banned stimulants before the FDA acted. They claimed that when ephedra is taken regularly in weight loss supplements, your body is in abnormally high gear and there is a risk of heart palpitations and heart attack.
The makers of the ephedra diet supplement did not go down without a fight. In fact, the two manufacturers made the latest attempt to enter into a temporary injunction barring a U.S. district court in New Jersey from enforcing the FDA ban.
The court, however, ruled that it would not immediately suspend the verdict and asked the parties to submit additional summaries. So, while the pills are not currently approved, the story continues.
On Weight Loss And Central Nervous System
Many dieters prefer ephedra diet supplements because they can lose weight without diet or exercise. Clinical studies have shown that ephedra products work on people who do not practice. There are very few supplements in the world that work without exercise. One study found that subjects taking 20 mg of ephedrine, 200 mg of caffeine, and 325 mg of aspirin 3 times a day without any exercise lost 10 pounds of fat in 6 weeks.
Ephedra occurs naturally in the central nervous system. It is a stimulant obtained from the plant Ephedra equisetina but it is now made by chemical synthesis. It is a white crystal product that is soluble in water and very soluble in alcohol. It is closely related to methamphetamines, although much less potent and long-acting.
It’s Legal Or Not?
Sometimes ephedra dietary supplements combine with caffeine and aspirin to help dieters achieve faster weight loss goals.
Now that ephedra diet supplements have been banned, products made with “ephedra leaves” are being marketed. But many dieters are finding that these products are not a substitute for the real thing. Ephedra leaves are legal, but many claims they are completely ineffective.
The fight with ephedra weight loss supplements is not over. Although it is currently illegal to sell the substance, manufacturers and dieters are once again fighting to legalize ephedra weight loss supplements.