Ephedra has been around and used for literally thousands of years... It's as safe as, say, caffeine or alcohol - which is to say, anything can be unsafe if used irresponsibly. Ephedra has terrific benefits when used properly, and it's too bad that the poor judgement/actions of a few caused the substance to be banned for everyone else.
Asprin, synthetic pain medication, cold medicines, alchohol , and many prescription drugs are far more dangerous. In fact if we use the same guidlines as ephedra, the FDA needs to ban bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, coffee, and nearly every concentrated extract and supplement produced.
The truth why FDA don't like Ephedra
The truth is the FDA banned ephedra for more political reasons than anything. Ephedra isn't harmless, but no drug is. The Ephedra-Caffeine-Aspirin stack was one of the greatest thermogenics the bodybuilding world has ever known. The FDA watches the bodybuilding supplement industry like a hawk. If they find something that really works, meaning it has drug-like properties, they yank it off the market.
Triax was another supplement that worked well. Really well. It turned out one of the ingredients was Triatricol, which is a thyroid drug, and actually not a diet supplement. It got yanked, probably so the FDA can make it into a prescription drug and sell it at several times the original price. I wouldn't be surprised if the FDA started selling ephedra as a prescription drug.
Ephedra is Safer Than FDA Approved Drugs!
Ephedra was almost completely safe given that you used the proper dosage and got clearance from a competent doctor who knew what shape your heart is in. I haven't read about the ephedra deaths that much, but I'm pretty sure the people who died didn't meet those two requirements.
There are multiple human studies showing weight loss with minimal side effects in healthy people. But there are several studies that specially examined side effects.
For example a study was conducted in the Department of Medicine at the Harward Medical School and called "Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin: Safety and Efficacy for threatment of Human Obesity" concluded: "In all studies, no significant changes in heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, insulin and and cholesterol levels, and differences in the frequency of side effects were found".
Another large randomized, placebo controlled, double blind study with 180 subjects that ran for 24 weeks called "Safety and Efficacy of Long-Term threatment with Ephedrine, Caffeine and Ephedrine/Caffeine Mixture" concluded: "The side effects are minor and transient and no withdrawal simptoms have been found."
This study - like the others - came to basically the same conclusion: the side effects are minor (insomnia and tremors) and short lived. Not exactly that the media and FDA would like us to believe regarding these products!
In healthy people who want to lose some weight, ephedra based diet pills have been proven repeatedly by hyman research to be both safe and effective.
There are thousands of legal products which will kill you if you overindulge. It's a fact that more people die each year from allergic reaction to PEANUTS, than died from Ephedra each year:
- 5 million die worldwide from tobacco related causes.
- 250,000 die (U.S. alone) from prescription "medication."
- 140,000 die (U.S. alone) from alcohol "related."
There are literally hundreds of prescription meds on the markets which are toxic.
This one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torcetrapib recently got shut down (much to Phizer's dismay) because it killed MORE than 1% during their clinical - that's right, it KILLED 82 of 7500 people who tried it first. Lipitor "only" killed 52 in its clincal study, so I guess (+ or -) 1% is their watermark for approval.
They "think" they can link about 85 deaths to "misuse" of Ephedra over a 25-year study - less than four per year, and don't forget about "misuse"!
Something's going on. Could it possibly be PROFIT POTENTIAL for the pharmaceutical companies? They're still allowed to widely sell pseudoephedrine (meth base) in their decongestants, nose sprays and cough syrups, but no one else can.
I believe that most of the ephedra products recommended a reasonable dosage and, in fact, told you to talk to a doctor first. If you didn't do those two things and you died, you committed suicide. It wasn't ephedra's fault.
Don't be fooled. The FDA didn't ban ephedra because it was dangerous. They banned it because someone put pressure on them, or they wanted to make money off of it. The latter is exactly why dangerous prescription drugs are still on the market. The FDA won't ban them, because they're making money off them.
In the past, the FDA has approved many drugs that have since been linked to adverse side effects, and even death; (remember fen-phen?). Why pick on ephedra, which has been used safely for thousands of years? Is it because ephedra is an herb, which cannot be patened, and thus poses a serious threat to any of the billion dollar pharmaceutical companies' line of weight loss drugs! Well, of course, that's just simply pure speculation.
The FDA banned a herbal substance they couldnt get paid for. And now doctors are offering replacement prescriptions the FDA does get paid for. This was only about the pharmaceutical community wanting to capitalize on a billion dollar industry.
FDA is big pharmaceutical companies' puppet! Weight loss industry profits in multi billions. Has nothing to do with ephedra being safe or not. How many big pharmaceutical companies have disclaimers for their products,(on TV adds),that list extreme side effects including death? It's unreal that any of those products were approved by the FDA.More people have died from aspirin then ephedra.