What You Should Know
Ephedra, or ma huang, is an herb used to stimulant metabolism and reduce hunger. It is one of the few natural weight loss ingredients proven to help the dieter achieve weight loss and increase fat burn, but with that increase in metabolism comes a significant risk of negative side effects, including death. Herbal weight loss products like the Ephedra Diet Pill used to be the most popular choice for dieters, but the Food and Drug Administration banned the ingredient in 2004 for use in weight loss products. Ephedra, and various forms of Ephedra, are still available over the counter for the treatment of asthma and cold symptoms, but the FDA regulates sales and keeps track of how much Ephedra is purchased per person. Other names for the Ephedra Diet Pill include ephedrine and Mormon tea.
List of Ingredients
Ma huang plant.
The Ephedra Diet Pill works by making blood vessels smaller while simultaneously increasing heart rate. Blood pressure increases as well. This results is increased metabolism and fat burn, but also increased risk for heart attack and death. While many weight loss products used Ephedra in fat burning formulas, it is the Metabolife company that started the ball rolling that eventually resulted in the ingredient being banned. Metabolife formulas included Ephedra and after more than 14,000 complaints of negative side effects, the FDA started looking into the company and weight loss formulas. Metabolife petitioned against the ban and spent millions fighting the courts, but eventually the FDA won the case.
After the FDA ban was upheld in several court cases, many athletic associations added the Ephedra Diet Pill and other Ephedra-based products to the list of banned substances. If an athlete participating in these sports tests positive for Ephedra, they are disqualified and may face a ban.
Ephedra Diet Pills continue to be sold in the United States, but the ingredient list often replaces ma huang with another form of Ephedra or the cousin to Ephedra, bitter orange. Currently, bitter orange is legal though the potential side effects and increased risk for heart attack are similar.
Ephedra Diet Pills are no longer available for sale – legally. Some websites continue to sell products that include “ma huang” but the FDA is quickly shutting down these sites.
- Ephedra is proven to increase fat burning, weight loss and metabolism.
- The Ephedra Diet Pill is illegal in the United States.
The risks associated with Ephedra far outweigh the benefits. The ingredient is addictive and may cause heart attack, stroke or death. Dieters should refrain from taking products with Ephedra or bitter orange. If a company is selling an Ephedra Diet Pill, chances are the product does not contain ma huang.