Ergogenic aids: An update on ephedra

Brian D. Keisler, Robert G. Hosey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ephedra has been used medicinally for thousands of years dating back to ancient Chinese medicine. Since its introduction to Western medicine in the 20th century, ephedra has been used for various ailments. The amphetamine-like activity of ephedra made it a popular supplement for promotion of weight loss and enhancement of athletic performance, despite limited supporting data. With the implementation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation of ephedra-containing supplements diminished. As these products became increasingly available, adverse effects associated with their use also increased. These adverse effects are mainly a result of ephedra’s sympathomimetic activity and have been manifested by premature cardiovascular and central nervous system disease. With mounting evidence concerning the unsafe nature of these products, the FDA was able to ban the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements in April of 2004.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-235
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Sports Medicine Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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