Controversial Weight Loss Supplement Banned - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/31/03

Controversial Weight Loss Supplement Banned

In a few months, people in Lubbock will no longer have easy access to the weight loss supplement Ephedra. This comes after the FDA announced it's plans to ban the drug. The herbal supplement is popular in Lubbock with dieters and body builders alike. It can increase your energy level and suppress your appetite. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you talk to.

Flex Fitness Center Owner, Chad Carlisle doesn't whole-heartedly agree with the ban. "I believe it's safe if used in the recommended dosage. If it's not mixed with other prescription drugs and you abide by the warnings on the label itself." Carlisle says the move just seems hypocritical. "It's hard to believe we would allow alcohol, cigarettes, stuff like that to be legal and ban a natural occurring substance like Ephedra."

Body builder, Zane Shamburger, agrees. He uses Ephedra on a regular basis and explains, "I use it as a pre-workout stimulant just to give me more energy help me workout longer and increase my focus."

Zane started using Ephedra back in high school before football games. He says it's not essential to his workout, but he'll probably find other options, "I know there are a couple products out there that don't use Ephedra that have similar results."

Tony Jones, Pharmacist and Owner of Caprock Discount Drug, says you'll want to watch out for those too. They may contain an ingredient called Guarana. Tony explains, "Guarana when metabolized by the body is changed to Ephedrine. So there's a lot of products that promote themselves as Ephedrine free when they actually contain Guarana which gives the same Ephedrine effect."

Tony believes the ban on Ephedra is long overdue. His pharmacy took Ephedra products off their shelves years ago. He says, "We could tell from the clientele that were asking for it that it was an abused item."

The ban on Ephedra won't be effective for a couple of months or more but health clubs in Lubbock are already phasing out products designed to help you lose weight. However, certain energy drinks are still available, some containing the ingredient Guarana.

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