The Dangers of Diet Pills

There are many different diet pills floating around that offer miraculous results. Just look on the internet, auction sites, local stores, etc. But did you know that although some of these products do indeed work, it may cost you your life?

Ephedrine and caffeine are the active ingredients in many diet pills and supplements. Many use the name "thermo", "lean" or "fat burner." Brand names include, Metabolife, MeTrim, Herbalife, Adiphen, Thermalean, Lipodrene, Zymax, Genicil, Patent Lean, Thermoslim, Ultra Lipo Lean, Trim Life, Hydroxy Cut, Xenadrine, Herbal Phen-Fen, Shapefast, Thermoburn, Thyro-slim, Trim Spa, Natural Trim, Thermo-Lift, Extreme Power Plus, and many others.

What is ephedrine? Ephedrine (e-fed'rin) a-methylamino-l phenyl-l propanol, is an alkaloid from the leaves of Ephededra equisetina, E. Sinica, and other species (family Gnetaceae). It is also called Ephedra & Ma Huang, the plant source for the Alkaloid ephedrine. Indigenous to China, India and parts of Southeast Asia . Products containing ephedrine extracts have, according to the FDA, caused hundreds of illnesses, including:

  • Heart Attacks
  • Seizures
  • Strokes

They are amphetamine-like compounds with powerful and potentially lethal stimulant effects on the central nervous system and the heart. These compounds act as stimulants that can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats (heart arrhythmias). Ephedrines act in a similar way as that of adrenaline. It dilates the bronchial muscles, contacts the nasal mucosa, raises the blood pressure and is a cardiac stimulant.

Further these compounds often cause psychological Side Effects such as:

  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heart Rate

When taken in combination with caffeine, also under the name of Guarana in many diet pills, ephedrine can over-stimulate the central nervous system, leading to potentially life-threatening results.

Since early 1990, the FDA has issued numerous warnings to consumers of diet products and supplements containing Ephedrine, Ephedra or Ma Huang. In fact, in November 1994, the FDA informed Alliance U.S.A. that its Nature's Nutritional Formula One posed a potential health hazard and was in violation of federal laws designed to protect the public health and even issued a recall of their products due to their combination of Ma Huang and caffeine containing Kola Nut.

Alliance later removed the caffeine containing Kola Nut and was allowed to continue to sell its new product. Recently, the FDA has called for strict limits on the recommended dose and proposed new labeling of products containing ephedrine.

The FDA's proposal would prohibit the marketing of dietary supplements containing 8 milligrams or more of ephedrine alkaloids per serving, with warnings against Using more than 24 mg per day and Using the product for more than SEVEN DAYS.

Any such product with claims encouraging short-term excessive intake would be required to list the following statement on its label: "Taking more than the recommended serving may result in heart attack, stroke, seizure or death."

Unfortunately that proposal is still just that, a proposal. Therefore, diet pill manufacturers are free to use higher amounts. Please check your labeling carefully.

Don't fall for fancy herbal names without knowing what it really is. If you see products containing ephedrine, also known as Ma Huang, or caffeine, known as Guarana, or containing Kola Nut, think twice about using it.

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