Manufacturers are accused of using misleading safety representations and failing to disclose significant dangers associated with the use of ephedra containing dietary supplements and weight loss products.
Health professionals consider ephedra one of the most dangerous of the dietary supplements and weight loss treatments; sometimes leading to heart attacks, strokes, or neurological impairment. Even consumers without known preexisting health problems or risk factors have been seriously injured by the consumption of ephedra alkaloids in dietary supplements and weight loss products.
Consumers are mislead into believing that they are taking a product that will help them lose weight or gain energy without risk of short-term or long-term health consequences or, possibly, even death. Many cases of ephedra-inducted death involved no evidence of preexisting medical problems. People with heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver, thyroid, or psychiatric disease are at higher risk of harm. Even healthy persons have died or experienced long-term or permanent harm by ingesting ephedra containing products.
Ephedra has been used in products for asthma, the common cold, weight loss, hay fever, allergies, congestion and cough, as well a products for increasing energy and weight lifting products.
Ephedra can produce the following adverse reactions: heart attack, stroke, tachycardia, paranoid psychosis, depression, convulsions, coma, fever, vomiting, palpitations, hypertension, and respiratory depression.
The NFL, NCAA International Olympic Committee all prohibit the use of ephedra-containing substances and the United States military has issued two warnings following the deaths of soldiers.
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