Ephedra Fact and Fiction: How Politics, the Press and Special Interests are Targeting Your Rights to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs
When ephedra first came onto the supplement scene in the 1990s, it was widely touted as the next big thing for its effectiveness in aiding weight loss and athletic performance. But its success came to an abrupt halt in 2004 when the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the commercial sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids. Still, there may be more to this decision than meets the eye, as Mike Fillon candidly reveals in his “Ephedra Fact & Fiction.”
Ephedra: The Wonder Herb
Ephedra is an herb that belongs to the gymnosperm family, which consists of plants that produce “naked” seeds. For millennia, many have recognized the plant's healing properties. Archaeologists found ephedra pollen in a Neanderthal grave in Iraq that dates back to over 60,000 years ago. The Chinese have been using the herb to treat the common cold, hay fever, and asthma for centuries. Native Americans consumed the plant in the form of a beverage and introduced it to the Mormon pioneers in the mid-19th century. Later on, the beverage became known as “Mormon tea.”
In modern times, humans have used ephedra alkaloids and their derivatives to treat a wide range of health conditions, including colds, allergies, asthma, emphysema, rheumatism, and arthritis. These alkaloids and their derivative have cropped up in several over-the-counter weight-loss and performance-enhancing products. Ephedra alkaloids are regarded as an appealing weight-management supplement due to its adrenaline-mimicking qualities. Besides opening the bronchi, it can speed up metabolism and suppress appetite. As a result of its many benefits, the herb became very popular among overweight and obese people, fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and professional athletes. You can learn more about ephedra's health benefits in “Ephedra: Fact & Fiction.”
The Ephedra Controversy
There have been a lot of controversies and legal issues surrounding the safety of ephedra. In 1997, the FDA responded to reports of severe side effects of ephedra by proposing new labels for products containing active constituents of the plant. The FDA also tried to limit the amount of ephedrine allowed in supplements and attempted to ban products combining ephedra and caffeine or other natural stimulants. However, the FDA withdrew its proposals after the General Accounting Office and the supplement industry challenged the link between ephedra consumption and its supposed side effects, as the agency couldn't prove that supplements containing ephedra are unsafe.
After gathering evidence for years, the FDA was finally able to ban ephedra products in the United States in 2004. But in 2005, a federal judge in Utah ruled against the ban, saying that the agency didn't prove that ephedra is harmful in low doses. A year later, an appeals court reversed the ruling and upheld the ban of supplements containing ephedra.
The FDA banned ephedra products because they allegedly caused “dozens of deaths,” but it did not mention anything about acetaminophen, which had also been linked to hundreds of deaths at the time. Also, people doubting the safety of ephedra tend to point to pseudoephedrine, which is a dangerously hyped-up derivative of ephedra. Whereas, studies have proven that ephedra is harmless when consumed in low doses. Read “Ephedra Fact & Fiction” to get an in-depth insight into the ephedra controversy.
To provide you with the truth behind the ephedra ban, Mike Fillon investigates all the circumstances surrounding the controversy, including secret deals between pharmaceutical companies and lawmakers and the blatant rejection of research evidence supporting the safety of ephedra. His book is not only about ephedra, but also about your right, as an American, to obtain vitamins and herbs vital to your health and well-being. Get “Ephedra Fact & Fiction” now to discover mind-blowing truths that will change your perception of the ephedra controversy, the FDA, and the dietary supplement industry.