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     FITNESS TIPS FOR 9/9/2003

This article is dedicated to the new anti ephedrine onslaught that 
appears to be going on in the media. 

An email from Will Brink:

The anti ephedrine camp seems to be making another wave of worthless
emotional based statements, which as usual, lack any real data. This 
tactic is of course an old one.

As the once man said:

'All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to
the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends 
to direct itself.' - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kamp

Most of you may have heard of a new 'study' supposedly showing how 
dangerous ephedrine is and the death of baseball player Steve Belcher 
is being blamed on ephedrine.

Both are complete shams!

Ok, below is my lay commentary of this 'study', enjoy the read.

 "Anti Ephedrine Campaign's latest bogus study"
by Will Brink

Well gang the anti supplement powers that be, are at it again with a new 
'study' that supposedly shows the dangers of ephedrine.

Typical of the 'don't confuse us with the facts' media, this study is 
being plastered all over the news and held up as a reason to pull 
ephedrine containing products off the market.

At this point, it appears they are so desperate to find proof that 
ephedrine is a health hazard, they are willing stretch the truth to 
absurd levels.

What am I referring to? A new study called 'The Relative Safety of 
Ephedra Compared with Other Herbal Products' published in Annals 
of Internal Medicine (2003;138:000-000).

This study is not bad science, it's not science at all.

What the authors did was examine reports put into the American 
Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Event Surveillance 
System Database Annual Report for 2001, and make conclusions 
about the safety of ephedra based on those numbers.

For example, the authors state:

'Ephedra is widely used in dietary supplements that are marketed to 
promote weight loss or increase energy; however, the safety of this 
product has been questioned because of numerous case reports of 
adverse events.'

Translated: they have already decided that ephedra is unsafe and 
are going to prove it no matter what they have to do. Hence, the 
authors were biased (more on that in a minute) from the start and 
made it their job to confirm their biased belief.

Basically what these authors did was compare the adverse 
reaction reports from American Association of Poison Control 
Centers Toxic Event Surveillance System vs reports on other 
herbs and shock of all shocks, conclude that compared to other 
herbs such as ginko and kava, that ephedra has more side 

Well Duh. They concluded that ephedra containing products a
ccounted for 64% of all reported adverse effects from herbs 
compared with kava and Ginkgo biloba (see letter data 
showing that's not even true).

They state:

'This risk was defined as the ratio of adverse reactions to ephedra 
versus other products, divided by the ratio of their relative use in 
the United States.'

Translated: a fancy way of saying that they compared apples to 
oranges (ephedrine vs ginko or Kava) and concluded ephedrine 
accounted for a higher rate of reported side effects.

This is equivalent to comparing coffee (a stimulant) to fruit juice and 
coming to the shocking conclusion that coffee has more side effects 
than fruit juice!

Now, why didn't they compare it to say other diet products, in particular 
diet drugs with similar mechanisms?

You would find that pharmaceutical diet drugs are involved in 
considerably more adverse events than ephedrine based products, and 
those events, on average, are of a more serious nature.

(Very Important Point....)

Let's not forget the recent study published in the Journal of Strength and
Conditioning Research, that found an ephedrine caffeine based 
supplement was superior for weight loss with less side effects than the 
popular diet drug Xenical (Orlistat), one of the most commonly prescribed 
diet drugs in the United States.

Of course, in truth none of this info from this new report from the Poison 
Control Centers can be used to represent the true risk of any drug or 
nutrient as it is simply people calling into claim some product made 
them ill.

It does tell public health officials if some product in particular should 
be looked for un expected side effects, etc, but it's of little use in 
making real decisions regarding the safety profile of any drug or nutrient.

That's what true double blind placebo controlled human studies are for, 
of which there are MANY with ephedrine.

What about those studies with ephedrine? Every single study to date 
with more than a decade of research-has concluded the side effects 
are minor, transient, and short lived.

The authors didn't bother to mention any of the real data that exists on 
ephedrine but focused on a single study that had a high drop out rate 
from the study.

Of course ephedra is not without risk and there are many people who 
should not use it, such as those with high blood pressure and other 
contraindications, but as weight loss compounds go, it is 
exceedingly safe.

Safer in fact than most over the counter medications found in stores, 
such as aspirin and acetaminophen.

Bottom line is, considering the billions of doses sold of ephedra 
containing products and the millions of people using such products, 
the number of adverse events reported is amazingly small.

The authors of this bogus study conclude:

'Ephedra use is associated with a greatly increased risk for adverse 
reactions compared with other herbs, and its use should be restricted.'

Translated: they had an agenda to show ephedra was unsafe, and 
found a unscientific way of showing it vs following the real data that 
exists or comparing ephedra to drugs for the same purpose that are 
more toxic than ephedrine.

But wait, it gets better.

If you recall I mentioned the authors were clearly biased. Why? All 
of the authors of this so called study have worked for various 
lawfirms who are involved in anti-ephedra lawsuits!

That's right, the authors of this report are paid by law firms and 
called as expert witnesses in cases against companies (e.g., 
Cytodyne, MuscleTech, Next Nutrition, TwinLabs, GNC, Phoenix 
Labs, Chemins Labs, etc.) that produce and market supplements 
containing ephedra!

Yes folks, that's how low the anti ephedra camp is willing to go; to 
any lengths to get ephedra banned, and the facts based on 
science be damned.


If you want to see my opinion on the best ways to use ephedrine 
based products, avoid side effects, etc, should read my book 
Diet Supplements Revealed found at: 

If you want more of my opinions on supplements that build muscle 
mass you can find that information and in my latest ebook Muscle 
Building Nutrition here: 

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