Evaluation of the stimulant content of dietary supplements marketed as "Ephedra-Free"

Philip J. Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

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. Copyright (c) by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

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Dietary supplements
Ephedra
Dietary Supplements
Synephrine
Theobromine
Caffeine
Labels
Names
Internet
Databases

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Evaluation of the stimulant content of dietary supplements marketed as "Ephedra-Free". / Gregory, Philip J.

In: Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2007, p. 65-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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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. Copyright (c) by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.",
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