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            Ephedrine is a substance that has been in the news in recent year’s, because of it’s controversial use in weight loss products. But, what exactly is ephedrine and what is it used for? What are, if any, are the side effects that surround this product, and if there are horrible side affects to this substance why doesn’t the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stop the production of the product? .
             To begin ephedrine, also known by its Chinese name Ma-huang, is a shrub-like plant that is found in desert regions in central Asia and other parts of the world, that has been used to treat such things as bronchial asthma, headaches, nasal congestion, aching joints, cold, flu and a slue of other aliments for more than two thousand years. (The effects, Internet) In the United States ephedrine is widely used for weight loss, as an energy booster, and to enhance athletic performance. (What is, Internet) The reason ephedrine is mainly used for weight loss and energy is because it is a powerful stimulant that speeds up the heart rate thereby forcing the body to work at a faster pace therefore casing the body to use stored fat cells as energy. Also ephedrine stimulates the central nervous system causing caffeine like effect, which is, where the product gets its reputation as an energy booster. Sadly there have been no reported studies that show that ephedrine helps enhance athlet!.
             ic performance, but since ephedrine boosts energy levels athletes and body builders believe that it helps. (Personal interview).
             What are, if any, are the side effects that surround ephedrine? According to Dr. Michael Friedman, Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, “The effects of ephedrine can be potentially powerful. Since the ephedrine is a heart and nervous system stimulant we urge people to consult their doctors before using dietary supplements containing ephedrine.” (Ephedrine dangers, Internet) According information some short-term effects of ephedrine are insomnia, tremors, irritability, heart attacks, strokes and sometimes death.