Ephedra in Weight Loss Supplements
Ephedra, also known as ma huang, is a strong stimulant found in popular “herbal phen-fen” weight loss supplements. Despite it’s widespread use in over-the-counter weight loss pills, there is no firm evidence that it promotes weight loss.
Ephedra Health Risks
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received over 800 reports linking ephedra with dizziness, headaches, chest pain, psychosis, seizures and strokes. Some states even banned the stimulant. This is because when ephedra is taken regularly in weight loss supplements, your body stays in an unnaturally high gear and there is risk for heart palpitations and heart attacks.
Official Advice on Ephedra Weight Loss Pills
The FDA urges everyone to consult with a doctor before trying any ephedra diet supplement and experts advise against using any weight-loss supplements that contain the herb.