Originally Posted by aolsux00
Here we go again. Stop shooting yourself in the foot.
You mention that there are a lot of negative side effects. The side effect profile of ephedra is very similar to the side effects other stimulants.
You also make the claim that you don't know anyone that has taken it. So you make it very clear you don't have much feedback about this product. You heard something on the news about it or someplace else. I have personally taken it, know many people that have taken it, and heard even more feedback off of bodybuilding web sites. It is safe as long as you don't take way too much of it. Keep in mind it is still available over the counter (for some purposes) for a reason, if it was so dangerous, it wouldn't be available at all.
You mentioned its banned by the IOC and WADA. You have people competing with one another, it can be used to cheat, thats why they have banned it. Read your own words closely:
"International Olympic Committee" and
"World Anti-Doping Agency"
What long term damage can it cause to your metabolism?
As I mentioned earlier, you should not take this drug if you have certain pre-existing conditions. Diet and exercise only are the way to go for any beginner.
Incoming wall of text...
I think we're miscommunicating. Are you talking about ephedra or the alkaloid ephedrine that comes from it? They actually are kind of different, especially when talking the legality of each. In the US, ephedra has been banned by the FDA since 2004. The sale of ephedra containing supplements is illegal in the US. Ephedrine itself has never been illegal apparently. Also, both are regulated by quantity and they have reporting requirements since they can be used to produce meth. I am interested to see what product you take and if it is actually ephedra or not... You act like it is one small study that has been conducted, or it's only been one or two cases of negative effects. The product was pulled from the shelf for a reason. Like I said before, just because you don't personally know anyone who has had an issue doesn't mean that NO ONE has had issues.
There have been plenty of randomized tests done that show marginal to moderate weight loss with the product, I'll admit that. And yes, many of the negative side effects are similar to any other stimulant. I never said they were different, did I? This discussion is not about other stimulants. I won't go into how I feel about other stimulants, but I now prefer to avoid caffeine in my diet as much as possible as well. Comparing the use of the product to "other stimulants" is just a ploy used to try to ignore the negative side effects. We're not talking the equivalent of a cup of coffee, we're talking a concentrated dosage in a pill format equal to many cups of coffee. Caffeine pills have been under just as much scrutiny for their side effects, although they are not banned.
Studies have shown that combinations of caffeine and ephedra drastically increase blood pressure. Several cases of heart attacks in people with no prior disposition to heart disease have also been reported.
As for the long term effects, I know people build tolerances to stimulant use, and even go through withdrawals when they stop using them (caffeine headaches anyone?). Based on no scientific evidence, just my personal opinion, I would think that something that ramps up your metabolism artificially/chemically for a long period of time would have some sort of adverse effect. Kind of like supercharging your vehicle might take some years/miles off the life of your engine. Just my opinion though, and I can't be bothered to do the research now, maybe when I get home tonight.
After having personal experience with some diet pills out there (and having negative side effects myself), I gave up and decided if I REALLY wanted to lose weight, I needed to be disciplined in my diet and exercise. I realized that pills aren't magic, and most of the time they do more harm than good. I used to be a Division I swimmer in college. I was in great shape, but when I graduated and stopped swimming, it fell apart. I got lazy and gained weight. Looking for a quick fix, I turned to stuff like Ripped Fuel, Hydroxycut, and a couple of others. I still worked out, and saw some short term loss, but after a while I was experiencing constantly high heart rates (90+ BPM while sitting) and higher than normal BP (130/90+). After I was told by a doctor to start to watch my BP more closely, I tossed the pills in the trash. Now I am in great shape and I don't have any heart or BP issues. I found I was just being lazy, and didn't want to do the work on my own. If you need some sort of gimmick pill to lose weight, you're undisciplined and lazy IMO, I know I was. I'm not shooting myself in the foot, I am just not lazy and looking for a quick fix anymore that risks my overall health.
Control your diet and get off of the couch if you really want to lose weight and be healthy.
Edit: I'm not trying to change your mind or anything, you can do what you want. In the end, we can just agree to disagree