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J Herb Pharmacother. 2007;7(1):65-72.

Evaluation of the stimulant content of dietary supplements marketed as "ephedra-free".

Author information

1
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy & Health Professions, Omaha, NE, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

With the removal of stimulant herb ephedra from the market, dietary supplement manufacturers are coming out with many ephedra-free products. Some of these products appear to simply replace ephedra with stimulants by another name.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the stimulant content of dietary supplements marketed as ephedra-free.

DESIGN:

Survey of the ingredients of dietary supplements that are stated as "ephedra-free" in the label or promotional material.

RESULTS:

Out of 36 products marketed as ephedra-free, 32 (89%) contained a methylxanthine such as caffeine or theobromine, 21 (58%) contained the stimulant synephrine, and 20 (56%) contained both a methylxanthine and synephrine.

LIMITATIONS:

The results of this evaluation pertain only to products discovered through Internet and database searching.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most dietary supplement makers have substituted stimulants by a different name for ephedra in their "ephedra-free" products. Patients need to be advised that ephedra-free products are not necessarily stimulant free and may present a significant risk.

PMID:
17594988
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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