Ephedra 5, Ephedra Viridis Review: The Only Legal Ephedra In America?
According to Viridis Laboratories, makers of Ephedra 5, their product allows you to…
“Enjoy the smooth energy, the increased metabolism, and the proven weight loss of the only clinically proven, legal Ephedra supplement in the United States.”
Let’s take a good look at that statement and analyze it for accuracy.
First, the easy question. Is Ephedra 5 a “legal” ephedra supplement?
You see, Ephedra 5 contains ephedra viridis (also known as “Mormon tea”) which belongs to the ephedra “family” of plants. It’s a relative of Ephedra sinica, the “Chinese ephedra” rich in ephedrine and a common ingredient to most fat burners and weight loss supplements up until the banning of ephedrine a few years ago.
But here’s the thing…
Ephedra viridis doesn’t contain ephedra (ephedrine) or ephedra alkaloids.
Why is this important?
Because it’s the ephedra / ephedrine content of the Ephedra sinica plant that stimulates the central nervous system, boosts the metabolism, and leads to weight loss. Claiming Ephedra 5 is the only legal ephedra supplement in America is a bit like selling de-alcoholized beer during the 1920’s period of prohibition and claiming you sell the only “legal beer” in America.
The point is, it’s only legal because it doesn’t contain any of the banned substance. In other words, Ephedra viridis is “ephedra” in name only. It’s not the ephedra you are familiar with, and it is not going to help you lose weight. And insinuating that it is… well, that’s hardly ethical behavior, is it?
Interestingly the makers of Ephedra 5 are perfectly forthright in revealing that their ephedra product doesn’t contain any ephedrine… if you delve far enough into the FAQs.
How they correlate this disclosure with the benefits described in their opening statement, I have no idea.
Now, let’s return to the “clinically proven” claim.
It’s probably no surprise, but I can’t find any clinical trials validating Ephedra 5’s claims for weight loss.
There are plenty of studies validating the effect of ephedrine on weight loss — either in its synthetic or herbal form (see Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Nov;28(11):1411-9, Obes Res. 2004 Jul;12(7):1152-7, Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Mar;25(3):316-24, Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Oct;30(10):1545-56, Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2005 Jan-Feb;32(1-2):47-53 ) but there is no evidence that ephedra viridis has any benefit for weight loss.
And what about the other ingredients in Ephedra 5?
Well, the makers of Ephedra 5 aren’t exactly enthusiastic about what, other than the ephedra viridis, is in their product.
If you dig about on the web site for a while, you’ll see they do reveal that Ephedra 5 contains xanthines (i.e, caffeine), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG from green tea) as well as betaine and quercetin.
Of course, there’s no indication of how much, which raises a gigantic “red flag.” Green tea extracts standardized for epigallocatechin gallate can be useful for dieters, especially when they are combined with caffeine — but a significant amount is necessary to provide any benefit.
Is there enough of either of these ingredients in this formula to offer any benefit?
Only a trip to the lab for testing can confirm one way or another.
Nonetheless, it makes it impossible to properly assess this product for efficacy, and certainly raised additional issues of credibility in my mind. In my experience, retailers — who are bound by law to reveal a product’s ingredient profile — fail to do so only to prevent the customer from truly determining how impotent their product is.
Ephedra 5 also offers a 5-day free trial.
Participation in this “trial” automatically enrolls you in a loyalty program, where you receive a new bottle of the product every 30 days. While I haven’t received any specific feedback about the billing tactics of the makers of Ephedra 5, I always steer visitors away from such programs. In fact, I’ve written a complete article on what I call the “5-7 day free trial scam.” (You can read the complete article here!).
In the end, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I do not recommend this product.