Ephedrine / Ephedra: Potent Fat Burner, Or Dangerous Drug?
Ephedrine / ephedra is a popular, if somewhat controversial supplement that is used mainly in popular fatburners and over-the-counter decongestants and bronchodilators.
Ephedrine is also one of the main raw ingredients for the formulation of the illegal “biker” drug, methamphetamine (street name “crank”). Several jurisdictions have outlawed ephedrine, not because of its health dangers to dieters, but because easy access to ephedrine makes it simpler for organized crime to manufacture drugs.
Lately there’s been much ado about the safety of ephedrine, and the dangers its use presents. In fact, since it’s apparent tie-in to several deaths in the U.S., ephedrine has been lambasted by professionals on a nearly daily basis. And it’s true — if used by the wrong person, in the wrong dosage — this product can have disastrous results — even death.
Ephedra is now illegal in the U.S. It is still possible to buy ephedrine HCL, but it’s difficult to find it — retailers who carry it must register with the US FDA. It’s hard to find it on its own too — it’s usually combined with guaifenesin and sold as a bronchodilator. Retailers selling “bootlegged” versions of popular ephedrine based products (like the original Hydroxycut or Xenadrine RFA-1) are engaged in illegal activity. If you do business with them, you are taking a heck of a risk.
What’s the difference between ephedra and ephedrine?
Ephedrine is a single alkaloid which can be created synthetically, or obtained from the Chinese Ephedra Sinica or Ma Huang plant. Ephedra refers to the plant itself, which contains 40-90% ephedrine, plus 3 additional alkaloids; pseudoephedrine, norephedrine and norpseudoephedrine.
Anyone interested in obtaining ephedra safely and legally, check out my review of “The Black Market Report On Ephedrine.” It will show you how to source and use ephedra, without risking the wrath of the law.
Unfortunately, the problem here is not with ephedrine, but with the dieting and supplement industry, and the media. First, the media…
Health and safety concerns regarding ephedrine have largely been blown out of proportion. To put things in the proper perspective, consider…
Obesity (and the complications arising from it), is the number one killer in North America. 100’s of thousands die annually.
Next, consider the 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of people who have serious, life threatening reactions to FDA-regulated prescription medicines. And of course, there’s always the thousands upon thousands who have serious reactions to over-the-counter medications.
Looking at it in this way, the relatively few, isolated cases of severe reactions to ephedrine take on a different light. Truth is, ephedrine does demand the respect of a drug, but in actuality, is quite safe.
Want to learn the real story of the ban on ephedrine? Want to learn why your rights to vitamins, minerals, and herbs are being targeted by big pharma and other special interest groups?
I highly recommend reading Mike Fallon’s “Ephedra Fact & Fiction”
It’s a great read — a bit frightening, and one heck of an eye-opener!
Now… to discuss the dieting and supplement industry’s part in this…
As a “natural” health supplement, regulations controlling ephedrine’s use and distribution were nearly nonexistent (remember, this product is illegal now!).
Worse still, since this supplement can be extracted from herbs such a Ma Huang, Sida cordifolia, and Country Mallow. Seeing one of the aforementioned on an ingredients label is misleading, since many won’t be aware what these herbs are standardized for.
And since many fatburners contain these standardized extracts, they’re often advertised as “all natural”, “from herbal sources”, and so on (in this blog post, Elissa explains why “all natural” is a bogus marketing term used by supplement retailers to make us feel all warm and fuzzy).
Regrettably, a dangerous drug derived from natural sources is no less hazardous to some. Those with heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes, liver, thyroid, or psychiatric diseases would be well advised to leave this product well enough alone…