Weight Loss: At What Price?

Spring 2002 CSANews Issue 42  |  Posted date : Apr 05, 2007.Back to list

The Mayo Clinic Health Letter recently reported that approximately 60 million Americans use over-the-counter herbal supplements. But, despite their popularity, information about the effectiveness and proper use of the herbs is often vague, misleading or conflicting.

The risks of the Ephedra herb, which is marketed as a safe way to lose weight, caught our attention. These risks include minor side-effects such as headache, high blood pressure and insomnia, and can even cause consequences as severe as heart attack, seizure, psychosis and strokes.

Ephedra risks increase when taken with caffeine, exceeding the recommended dosage, or when used for longer than a week. The risk of experiencing these severe side-effects increases even more when Ephedra is taken by those of us with health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or seizure disorders.