Is Ephedra Plant Effective in Lowering Weight and Body Fat?

1543 Words7 Pages
The scientific names for Ephedra plants are Ephedra equisetina, Ephedra intermedia, and Ephedra sinica. Common names for this product are Ephedra, Ma huang, Pinellia, Yellow astringent, and Yellow horse. The plant Ephedra sinica has been used in the past as a traditional medicine to treat symptoms of bronchial asthma, colds, influenza, allergies, and hives in the form of teas or tinctures. It has been shown to reduce weight over a 6 month period and has also been used for improving athletic performance. Products containing ephedrine alkaloids were banned in the US in 2004 due to adverse events reported, concern about using high doses, and use in at risk individuals with comorbid conditions. It is not currently recommended for weight loss or increased athletic performance because of this and it’s lack of efficacy. Cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events have been reported in cases and should be avoided in populations at risk for this and should be avoided in pregnancy. Ephedra can interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, propofol, cholinergic agents such as tricyclic antidepressants, blood pressure lowering medications like clonidine, caffeine, theophylline, and steroids such as dexamethasone. Adverse events reported include arrhythmia and sudden death, myocardial infarction, stroke, psychiatric symptoms, autonomic hyperactivity, seizures, ischemic colitis, and gastric mucosal injury. Ephedra contains alkaloids and six ephedrine-type ingredients found at concentrations of 0.02-3.4% with the most common being ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These cause a stimulant and thermogenic effect. They work by stimulating the brain, increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and expanding bronchial tubes. The active ingredients... ... middle of paper ... ...ls of Internal Medicine. March 18, 2003;136(6):468. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 29, 2014. FDA issues alert on ephedra supplements in the USA. Lancet. January 10, 2004;363(9403):135. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 29, 2014. Hackman R, Havel P, Keen C, et al. Multinutrient supplement containing ephedra and caffeine causes weight loss and improves metabolic risk factors in obese women: a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Obesity. October 2006;30(10):1545-1556. Available from Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 29, 2014. Persky A, Berry N, Pollack G, Brouwer K. Modelling the cardiovascular effects of ephedrine. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. May 2004;57(5):552-562. Available from Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 29, 2014.

More about Is Ephedra Plant Effective in Lowering Weight and Body Fat?

Open Document