My name is Christine Marquette and I’m a registered
dietitian with the Austin Regional Clinic, and I’m going to talk to you about how ephedrine
affects the body. Now ephedrine is actually a component very similar to ephedra. It’s
actually just a different name, ephedra, there’s different varieties, ephedra sinica is a type
that was typically found in weight loss products and different supplements. And ephedrine is
actually is the alkaloid of ephedra. So the way it actually affects the body is that it’s
a stimulant and it does have thermogenic properties, so it could have a very modest effect on your
metabolism, it could increase your metabolism very slightly. What was found many years ago
by supplement manufacturers were if they combined it with caffeine it could increase the rate
of your metabolism a little bit more effectively resulting in a modest amount of weight loss,
not a significant amount. However, what was found through the years was that this combination
and actually just ephedra by itself had various serious side effects, very mild side effects
included insomnia but ultimately, it could result in death and it did result in death
in a number of people. There were over fifteen thousand complaints of adverse reactions from
one supplement manufacturer alone that eventually were turned over to the FDA. So for this reason
you can no longer buy ephedra or ephedrine as a weight loss supplement. There’s a similar
component called pseudoephedrine and this particular alkaloid is still found in decongestants,
but you typically cannot buy those unless you actually go to the pharmacy and get it
from behind the counter. It’s not something that you usually can just find on the shelf,
you have to actually go ask for it at the counter, again because it should be used strictly
a decongestant, not for weight loss. It is a slightly different alkaloid but again related
to ephedra so it still needs to be used with caution. So just some information for you
on how ephedrine affects the body.