|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Ephedra Is Back - But Is It Safe?
It's been called the world's oldest medicine, the miracle fat burner, and is known in some parts of the U.S. as "Mormon tea." Ephedra (also called Ma-huang or epitonin) has been used for its healing powers for more than 5000 years by the Chinese, who discovered the plant's healing properties. So why was it banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004, and more importantly, why was the ban recently lifted?
What is Ephedra?
Ephedra grows all over the world, and in the Western United States, this flowering shrub can be found in deserts and sagebrush areas. The plant can be ground into powder for capsules, or dried and used in tea. Ephedrine is the "active" ingredient in ephedra, responsible for its healing properties. Ephedrine is a nerve stimulant similar to adrenaline, but not as strong as amphetamine.
What Does It Do?
Dieters have long known the powerful effects of ephedra in promoting weight loss. Basically, ephedrine creates a thermogenic response, speeding up metabolism and expediting the body's fat burning rate while preserving muscle. Ephedra has proved to be particularly effective for people with a slow metabolism, who have previously had trouble losing weight.
Additionally, ephedrine can be used to treat bronchial asthma and cough by relaxing the air passages in the lungs. For this same reason, the plant is helpful in treating the effects allergies and hay fever. Ephedra can assist in fighting a minor cold by causing perspiration and urination (to relieve swelling and fluid retention). Alternative uses for ephedra include treating muscle and joint conditions such as bursitis, arthritis, and rheumatism. A synthetic (man-made) replacement, called pseudoephedrine, was created and is widely used in common over-the-counter medications such as Sudafed.
Why the Ban?
Possible side effects of ephedrine include insomnia, dry mouth, nervousness, general weakness, poor digestion, irritability, headache, dizziness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and heart palpitations. Not surprisingly, this list is markedly similar to over-the-counter medications with the active ingredient pseudoephedrine.
Some argue that the pharmaceutical companies have organized lobbyists to target ephedra because it was cutting into their sales for weight loss drugs and asthma drugs (bronchodilators). Others believe ephedra is not dangerous, but simply got some bad press as a result of a handful of people who intentionally misused ephedra or a synthetic replication of the isolated part of ephedra (ephedrine). Ephedra activists insist that human nature simply cannot be regulated and no one can control how people use (or abuse) any supplement, herb, or drug. How can you protect customers who ignore warning labels or double their doses?
The FDA inflicted a ban on ephedra in late 2003 (which became effective in early 2004), declaring an "unreasonable risk." This decision was based on public comments, literature review, adverse event reports and scientific studies. Dieters were devastated, feeling that their right to safely and appropriately use this herb had been stripped from them.
Why Was the Ban Lifted?
After the conclusion of several court cases (including some high-profile cases), the FDA stated in its final ruling that only five deaths were attributed solely and directly to ephedra. Keep in mind, according to the American Herbal Products Association, approximately 12 to 17 million people consumed ephedra during 1999. Ephedra sales in 2002 were close to $1.3 billion. What you may not know is that in 1994, over 100,000 people died due to adverse reactions or overconsumption of prescription drugs.
Is Ephedra Safe to Use?
According to the FDA, ephedra is safe for human consumption when it is taken in the recommended dosages, and when all warning labels are strictly observed. Obviously, women who are pregnant or nursing, and people with certain diseases (such as high blood pressure) should NOT consume ephedra or ephedrine. It is advised that you check with your physician before taking ephedra.
Where Can You Get Ephedra?
Currently, one company claims to be the only U.S. supplier of ephedra for weight loss. You can purchase ephedra online at www.BetaFuelDirect.com
Amy S. Grant is an avid fitness enthusiast who enjoys SCUBA diving, photography, and empowering people to achieve their goals.
Public Release: 4-May-2015 Weight loss may increase risk of premature death ... - EurekAlert (press release)
Understanding Weight Loss
A pound of fat represents approximately 3500 calories of storedenergy. In order to lose a pound of fat, you have to use 3500more calories than you consume.
School for Overweight Teens
Getting Kids Moving - Help for Overweight TeensA residential school program for overweight teens comes with a hefty price tag (some in excess of $5,000 per month). These programs rely on the same formula for weight loss as is commonly recommended; strict eating guidelines and increased activities.
Dropping Weight Too Fast After Gastric Bypass: What If I lose Too Much?
Weight loss is so consistent and rapid after gastric bypass surgery many patients begin to fear they may become emaciated. They ask, "Will my body know when it's time to stop losing weight?" Patients fresh out of weight loss surgery usually find this question absurd - Impossible! Lifelong dieters don't become emaciated.
Serious Dieting Tips, Humorous Explanations
A few months ago, I set out to lose 22.6 pounds, then to put back on at least half of it.
The Truth About Fat
Fat has had a lot of bad press and for many people, just a mention of the word can evoke misery. You can try to lose it, try to hide it, try to avoid it, but your body still needs it! Did you know that fat helps to insulate our nerve cells, keeps us warm, balances our hormones, keeps skin and arteries supple, lubricates joints and is a component in every cell?The key issue here is recognizing which type of fat your body needs, how much your body requires and which type is your enemy.
Five Really Tough Dieting Tips
If you are losing, trying to lose, or think you need to lose, weight, you are probably as sick as I am of those "easy" and "quick" diet tips that NEVER work!The following tips are neither quick nor easy. They are tough, uncomfortable, and demanding (but they work).
Dieting While Partying!
It's really difficult for a person to socialise if he is on a Diet. Totally ignoring parties and invitation is definitely not a solution.
From Fat to Fit: Read One Womans Amazing Weight Loss Story
An Interview with Success Story, Caitlin JohnsonIf you don't know who Caitlin is, you will soon. Sheappears in the June, 2005 Issue of Ironman Magazine.
Benefits Of Exercise Videos For Weight Loss
I asked my sister to come to my gym with a guest pass. She replied something to the effect of "I am in no shape to go to the gym".
Help! My Kids are Overweight!
If you have recently found yourself fretting over your child's waistline, you are not alone. The youth of today are fatter than ever before, and parents are starting to panic.
Simple Summer Fat Attack!
Summer is about to be in full swing, and it's that time when everyone wants to look impressive in their "lack" of clothing. While I can't promise you that you'll achieve a fitness model body, I can at least give you some simple but important tips in achieving a leaner physique.
Why Do Athletes Use Ephedra?
You are probably familiar with the weight loss connection with the ephedra pill, but did you know that the ephedra pill is also extremely popular with performance athletes? For decades, athletes have been seeking out ways to enhance their performance. One of the most common and popular enhancing substances was the ephedra pill.
Weight Loss Success - When there are NO More Options Left!
One of the worst things you can hear in life is when your doctor says, "There are no more options for you." What if you had to live your life thinking that there are no options, no way to turn your life around? Many times in life our health is taken for granted.
When is a Diet not a Diet? When Its a Lifestyle!
Dieting and weight loss is almost certainly the most lucrative of all health- related businesses both online and off. our waistlines are bulging, our health is deteriorating and diet "guru's" are on the run.
Advice for the Ill = Advice for the Well
All of the things we tell sick people so that they recover more quickly are exactly the things that we should be doing every day. Following that advice will not only ward off disease, but also lead to greater energy and vitality, and best of all, weight loss.
10 Tips for Dining Out
There is no doubt about it; Americans are eating in restaurants more often than ever before. In 1970 Americans spent just 26% of their food dollars on restaurant meals.
Weight Loss : Keep It Simple
An increasing trend over the last few years has been for diet books to make things complex.I expect it's because each one vies with the other to come out with some brand new theory or other about why we gain weight and why their diet plan is the only one to help us lose it.
Gene's Diet Plan
Hot dang! If a few hundred other folks can peddle a plan to help people lose weight, there's no reason I can't jump on the bandwagon too! So, here's my plan. All you need to do is send me a certified check for $495.
Weight Loss NOW! The Soft Drink Diet
In the early nineties doctors were beginning to see the growing trend in American's waistlines. So for a very short period of time they came out on the offense by promoting better foods to eat.
Your Eight Hormones and Weight Loss
If you find this article helpful, please forward it to friends and relatives. There are many physical, mental, and physiological benefits to regular exercise.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.