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    Women given ephedra and caffeine lost 15.8 lbs vs 4.9 lbs for the control group


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, November 01, 2006 4:42 am Email this article
    Women given a supplement containing ephedra and caffeine before breakfast and lunch lost an average of 15.8 pounds in nine months compared to 4.9 pounds for women given a placebo. No Diet

    No dietary advice except to follow their standard diet

    The women were instructed to follow their standard diet and not given any dietary advice.

     

    Ingredients

    Ingredients : 40 mg of ephedra alkaloids, 20 mg of green tea extract, 200 mg of oolong tea extract, 100 mg of caffeine

    The ephedra supplement contained 40 mg of ephedra alkaloids—which appears to be 40 mg of ephedrine per day—, 20 mg of green tea extract, 200 mg of oolong tea extract, 100 mg of caffeine in the form of an herbal extract and other ingredients including 2000 mg of Garcinia cambogia extract (which probably contains 1,000 mg of hydroxycitrate, which I consider to be worthless for weight loss).

     

    Timing

    Timing : 30-45 minutes before breakfast and lunch

    The women were told to take their supplements 30 to 45 minutes before breakfast and lunch.

     

    Side Effects

    Side effects : dry mouth, insomnia, nervousness and palpitations

    In the ephedra and caffeine group there were reports of dry mouth, insomnia, nervousness, palpitations, decreased appetite, dizziness, increased energy, fatigue and nausea.

     

    Blood Pressure

    Blood Pressure : No effect from ephedra and caffeine

    Several researchers have expressed concern that ephedra may cause an increase in blood pressure.

    However, studies of ephedrine and caffeine have found a slight increase in blood pressure for the first few weeks, but no significant difference from those taking a placebo after several weeks of use.

    This is exactly what this study found.

     

    Systolic Pressure

    Systolic pressure : 4 points higher after three months, no difference after that

    The only point in the study where there was a significant difference in systolic blood pressure between the groups was after three months when systolic pressure was 4 points higher in the ephedra group, an average of 111 mm Hg versus 107 mm Hg, which is clinically insignificant.

     

    Diastolic Pressure

    Diastolic pressure : 4 points higher after three months, no difference after that

    At no point during the nine months was there a significant difference in diastolic blood pressure.

     

    Heart Rate

    Heart rate : 4 beats lower, then 5 beats higher, then 7 beats lower

    Heart rate was significantly lower in the ephedra group after the first week, averaging 73 beats per minute versus 77 for the control group; significantly higher after the second week, averaging 79 beats per minute versus 74; and was significantly lower after nine months, averaging 68 beats per minute versus 75 for the control group.

    In my opinion, these changes on blood pressure or heart rate are meaningless.

    Comment : This is not to say that ephedrine or ephedra will not cause some people’s blood pressure to increase. It will in some individuals. But for a large majority of people, it does not seem to be a concern. 

     

    Conclusion

    Conclusion : Ephedra and caffeine may be safe and effective

    “Given the limited number of clinical options available for obesity treatment, further studies of low-dose ephedra and caffeine mixtures in conjunction with dietary supplements under regulated conditions may provide physicians with additional safe and effective therapies,” the authors concluded.

    REFERENCE

    Hackman RM, Havel P, Schwartz H, Rutledge J, Watnik M, Noceti E, Stohs S, Stern J, Keen C. Multinutrient supplement containing ephedra and caffeine causes weight loss and improves metabolic risk factors in obese women: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Oct, 30(10):1545-56.

    AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION

    R. Hackman
    Department of Nutrition
    University of California
    Davis, CA 95616-8669, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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