Ephedra had been the darling ingredient of the fat burner industry until the FDA placed a ban after reports of its use were linked to deaths and other serious medical issues.

What Is Ephedra?

In China, this plant is known as ma huang. In dietary supplements, it made an exceptional thermogenic. Ephedra contains two compounds that both stimulate metabolism: ephedrine and puedoephedrine. Before the 2004 U.S. FDA crackdown, a lot of ephedrine-based fat burners enjoyed unprecedented sales due to their effective weight loss performance.

Why It Has Been Banned

A number of deaths and other cardiac cases were linked to ephedra; although the banning of the substance had been much delayed due to intense lobbying from supplement manufacturers and politicking from congressmen. For instance, the old Metabolife®, not the brand from ISI at present but marketed by the defunct Metabolife International Inc., was an ephedrine-based supplement that received thousands of complaints on its side effects; but these reports never reached the knowledge of the FDA. It was only after a medical examiner’s testimony linking ephedrine to the death of Steve Bechler, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, that the FDA finally had overwhelming grounds to illegalize the substance. Ephedrine is not only considered an illegal substance in the U.S. but it is also a banned substance by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an independent organization which monitors drugs in sports.

What Were The Side Effects?

These were the common side effects: migraines, insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness and nervousness. Ephedrine is considered a relation of amphetamine and therefore also has these other dangerous side effects:
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Anorexia
  • Confusion; paranoia; hostility
  • Dyspnea; pulmonary edema
  • Potential to be habit-forming
There are a lot more adverse reactions not in the list, ranging from the mild to the fatal.


Ephedra is a banned ingredient in any supplement; but, its derivative, ephedrine, considered a controlled substance, is an ingredient in some bronchodilators prescribed to people with asthma or breathing difficulties. As it is, it is easy to buy ephedra –based supplements online but getting these into the country is another matter. There is an alternative, however, that offers the same weight loss effectiveness as ephedra or other sympathomimetic drug. This is Phentramin-D. Although as effective as ephedra, Phentramin-D does not pose the health risks ephedra does. Phentramin-D is:
  • An appetite suppressant, as potent as any sympathomimetic drug, including ephedrine, phentermine and benzphetamine
  • Safe, being formulated with good ingredients
  • A non-prescription diet supplement
  • An effective weight loss aid that can help you lose up to 40 lbs in twelve weeks
  • A diet management pill that has minimal to no side effects
Learn more about Phentramin-D from this site, WeightComment.com.

In A Nutshell

The U.S. FDA had pretty good reasons to issue its ban on ephedra. There are still many ephedra advocates that don’t agree with the illegalization; but, why put your health at risk if the judgement is out on its safety? Despite the glowing reports of the fat-burning qualities of ephedra, it is best to steer clear of it and consider the Phentramin-D alternative. This site has a lot of information to offer about this powerful weight loss supplement. If in doubt, consult your doctor about it.

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