Ephedrine: The Weight Loss Wonder Drug?

2997 words - 12 pages

Ephedrine: The Weight Loss Wonder Drug

An increasing number of people are using products to enhance their diets. A recent estimate indicates, “Americans are spending some $6 billion annually on nutritional supplements, and the market is growing by 20% every year” (Zahn, 1997). Of these supplements, the increase in herbal remedy use is most dramatic. Zahn holds that the increase can be attributed to the widely held belief that herbal substances are healthy and harmless because of their natural origins (1997). Unfortunately, research on these supplements, herbal or otherwise, has not transmitted to the public as quickly as the diet enhancers themselves. The phenomenon leaves many consumers misguided by skewed advertising and uninformed about the potential risks involved in ingesting these seemingly harmless, over the counter substances. The following is an attempt to look at one particular herbal supplement, Ma-Huang (active ingredient, ephedrine), more critically.

THE CLAIMS:

What is MaHuang?

MaHuang is an herbal supplement found in products such as Metabolife and SoBeTrim, which claim to stimulate weight loss. It is available in the form of a pill, a powder, or a liquid and is often used in combination with other drugs such as caffeine and aspirin. In addition to being used in weight loss supplements, MaHuang is also promoted as “natural ecstasy” (Theoharides, 1997) and is often abused under this guise. MaHuang as “herbal ecstasy” is also called ultimate X-phoria or Cloud 9 (Zahn, 1997).

What does Ma-Huang (Ephedrine) claim to do?

Produces euphoria ! (White, et al 1997) & (Zahn, 1997)
Enchances energy levels ! (Zahn, 1997) http://www.gethuge.net/xen3.htm
Aids in weight loss ! (Zahn, 1997) http://www.bennrye.com/dietfuel3.html
Heightens awareness ! (Zahn, 1997)
Increases sexual sensations ! (White, et al 1997) & (Zahn, 1997)
Enhances Physical Performance ! http://www.gethuge.net/xen3.htm
Increases Mental Alertness ! http://www.bennrye.com/dietfuel3.html
Stimulates Fat Burning Metabolism.! http://www.ephedra.demon.nl/
Lose weight by feeling less hungry ! http://www.bennrye.com/dietfuel3.html
Burn stored fat! http://www.gethuge.net/xen3.htm
Reduces appetite ! http://www.ephedra.demon.nl/
Control sugar and carbohydrate cravings ! http://www.sobediet.com/html/tools.html
Preserve lean muscle tissue ! http://www.gethuge.net/xen3.htm
Helps you stop smoking! http://www.ephedra.demon.nl/

These claims were made by various web-sites that sell products containing MaHuang or Ephedrine. Although each web-site states it differently,...

Find Another Essay On Ephedrine: The Weight Loss Wonder Drug?

The Weight Loss Obsession of Women

1618 words - 6 pages The fulfillment that one feels whenever the weight on the scale has decreased or the guilt when the numbers increased or fluctuated is one of many symptoms of weight loss obsession. What is it about weight loss that makes a person feel so triumphant? It feels good to know you are one step closer to look like the models on the advertisements, when you are able to wear smaller sizes or when you get compliments that you look good because you lost

Porter’s Five Forces on the Weight Loss Industry

1116 words - 5 pages There are not a lot of requirements to create and market a diet plan. Many turn into fads and there are even websites that have compiled these fads for potential dieters to browse and try for themselves (Faddiet.com, 2013). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises to steer clear of fad diets. They define a fad diet as any that claim one or more of the following: rapid weight loss, extreme quantities and/or limitation, very specific food

The Transformation of Heroin from a Wonder Drug to an Abused Narcotic

1455 words - 6 pages The Transformation of Heroin from a Wonder Drug to an Abused Narcotic In 1898, the Bayer Company in Germany developed an opium derivative ten times more potent than morphine. This new drug was seen as a wonder drug and to suggest the heroic curative power of this new drug, its creators named it heroin. Heroin has transformed over the years from a prominent pharmaceutical drug to a very addictive and misused drug (Freeman 48). Heroin

Ephdrine Weight Loss Supplement: Proven to be Safe

1701 words - 7 pages 1896 and in United States since 1926 (Hobbs).Ephedrine is an amphetamine-like compounds used to control and stimulate the heart and central nervous system. The amphetamine-like compounds perform like any weight-loss product or prescription drug would. When ephedrine is extracted from the ephedra plant it can be metabolized into norephedrine. Norephedrine is the metabolized form of ephedrine which stimulates the effects of the drug on the central

Ephedrine

1428 words - 6 pages In May 1999, a 35-year-old woman who was taking no other prescription or over-the-counter medications began to use a dietary supplement containing ephedrine for weight loss. She consumed the supplement within the dosage recommended on the label for approximately 30 days; she stopped consuming the supplement while she went on a one week vacation, when she returned she continued her usual dosage, a day after continuing her usual dosage she

Ephedra

1228 words - 5 pages grew, it was never approved by the Food and Drug Agency, which raised the question of its safety in everyday use. Studies done by scientists at UCSF showed that weight loss with the aid of an ephedrine supplement was only temporary. Furthermore, the body becomes more tolerant of ephedrine as its use is continued therefore requiring the user to eventually begin using a higher dosage of the product in order for it become effective. (USCF, 2002

Dangers of Dieting

798 words - 3 pages physical and chemical problems that make it difficult to lose weight. For these people I recommend exploring weight loss supplements that do not contain dangerous ingredient such as ephedrine. A good rule of thumb when it comes to finding a safe alternative is to make sure the product has been tested and approved by the FDA. It is there job to make sure that a product is safe for human consumption. If they have not approved a supplement I do not

The Atkins Diet

1809 words - 7 pages enhance athletic performance and consumers are not warned at all about the potentially serious or even fatal side effects (FDA, 2003). Also diet and weight loss pills, whether prescription or over-the-counter supplements, are only effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan. “The FDA urges everyone to consult with a doctor before trying any ephedrine product and experts advise against using any weight loss products that

Fat Burners, or Life Burners - A persuasive essay to discourage use of weight-loss pills

800 words - 3 pages much more dangerous than many of the illegal drugs in the united states, and have the same amount of addiction and dependency on the drug. It is also the governments duty to limit the growth of fast food chains. Though slightly unconstitutional, "the right to bear arms" is equally outdated, and the health of the people far exceeds the economic profits of McDonalds.American people who take weight loss pills argue that the reason they do so is due to

The Dangers of Metabolife

3998 words - 16 pages ephedrine and caffeine and obesity Morelli and Zoorob reviewed two studies. The first study was conducted as a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of 180 obese patients over a 24-week period. Results of this study concluded that weight loss with a combination of ephedrine and caffeine (20-200mg) was greater than with a placebo. Another study found that 54% of patients treated with 20-200mg of ephedrine experienced central nervous

Herbal Remedies Used for Weight Loss

1232 words - 5 pages Aim: This project aims on the analysis of herbal remedies used for weight loss, to detect the presence of adulterants. Our main focus is to detect the presences of Caffeine, Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine and lastly sibutramine. Methodology: Random samples of herbal remedies used for weight loss were collected from several herbal stores known as Al’Ataar markets. After preparing the herbal samples (extractions), we have analyzed each sample for

Similar Essays

Weight Loss And The Weight Of The Media

1753 words - 7 pages Weight-Loss and the Weight of the Media       The media bombards us with advertisements and articles about weight-loss supplements. We cannot turn on the television or radio without seeing or hearing an advertisement for Dexatrim, and we cannot flip through a magazine without seeing an advertisement or article about Metabolife. The manner in which different media sources treat weight-loss supplements greatly influences the public's

Weight Loss Information On The Internet

3222 words - 13 pages statistical evidence confirming any other program, drug, or vitamin. A recent study which researched the effects of caffeine, chromium, fibre, and carbohydrates in conjunction with weight loss found no significant evidence that any one alone or combined had statistically significant effects(1). In fact, the researchers stated that there was nothing other than exercise and healthy eating which could aid weight loss maintenance. WHAT TO WATCH OUT

The Known Natural Weight Loss Methods

704 words - 3 pages The body is capable of burning fat on its own. However, with the increased cravings for fatty and sugary foods, even the body is having difficulty burning them. As a result, more and more people are becoming obese, and the urge becomes almost insatiable. Now, getting back to shape may not be an easy thing for the obese. Unless they are determined to change their mindsets towards weight loss, it is going to be impossible for them to achieve it

A Solution To The Weight Loss Puzzle

3045 words - 12 pages A solution to the weight-loss puzzle WHAT IS 5-HTP SUPPOSED TO DO? The purpose of taking 5-HTP is to reduce carbohydrate cravings, and thus, diminish food intake, resulting in weight loss. In addition to promoting weight loss, it has also been linked with beneficial effects on behaviors such as sleep disturbances, narcolepsy, depression, migraines, anxiety, bulimia, PMS, compulsive behaviors, substance abuse