Ephedra Diet Pill

Ephedra diet pills have recently become a popular choice among dieters as a supplement for weight loss. The active ingredient ephedra is a naturally occurring substance belonging to the family of herbs known as Ephedracae. For over 5000 years, it has already been used in ancient Chinese medicine as a treatment for asthma, hay fever and the common cold. The Chinese know it more commonly as "ma huang".

As a diet supplement pill, ephedra works by stimulating the nervous system and through the brain may help in suppressing the appetite. This action is due to the substances called ephedrine and pseudoephedrine found in ephedra. It can also act as a thermogenic, stimulating the thyroid gland to help increase the body’s metabolic rate which allows a person to lose weight. Ephedra supplements are also used by some athletes as an energy booster.

Ephedra is sometimes used as a weight loss supplement in combination with aspirin and caffeine. There are some studies that show that ephedra shows to more effective in short term weight loss than a placebo in controlled trials. But despite its effectiveness, the use of ephedra diet supplements has recently come under fire due to the numerous complaints of serious side effects that may be experienced through its use.

The safety of ephedra dietary supplements has been questioned during the recent years by the US FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) due to the high rate of serious side effects as well as a number of ephedra related deaths. This led to the FDA banning the sale of the product in April of 2004. Due to the serious health risk that they pose, the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra is illegal in the US.

The use of ephedra dietary supplements may lead to side effects such as dizziness and nausea, severe skin reactions, headaches, and vomiting. Some of the most serious side effects that this type of dietary supplement pose include dehydration, irregular heartbeat, hyperthermia, seizures as well as heart attacks that may lead to stroke or death. For this reason, the use ephedra diet supplements poses a number of possible dangers that may negate the benefits that it can provide by way of weight loss.