Gezondheidsrisico's door Ephedra in voedingssupplementen

A.J.H.P. van Riel, I. de Vries en J. Meulenbelt

Health risks raised by Ephedra in food supplements

- In recent years, the use of herbal preparations containing Ephedra has increased and so has the number of reported negative health effects.

- Ephedra products are used as a slimming aid, (sports) performance enhancer, stimulant during long working hours and as a plant-based ecstasy-surrogate in the party scene.

- The health effects caused by the use of Ephedra products are mainly restlessness, agitation, tachycardia and palpitations.

- The most important risk factors are the relatively high amounts of Ephedra alkaloids in the preparations available, the varying concentrations within different batches of the same product, the relatively high risk of voluntary overdosing in order to improve results and the occurrence of interactions with the concurrent use of other stimulants and medicines.