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The Banning Of Ephedra


The Federal Drug Administration's decision to ban the sale of the herbal diet supplement Ephedra has caused a stir in the American culture.


The herb stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, dilates bronchial tubes and stimulates the heart. It also is believed to speed up the body's ability to burn fat and thus assists in weight loss. It was taken off the shelves of vitamin and natural food stores because it was found to be possibly linked to heart attacks and stroke in a few victims.


The removal of Ephedra has dieters, asthma sufferers, long haul truckers, and other users of the supplement looking for possible alternatives. In the old days this same group might have turned to amphetamine, formerly known as the brand Dexadrine, which was once sold over the counter without a prescription. That drug also has been demonized in the false Anti-Drug War.


An article by Dr. Betty Martini, founder of Mission Possible International, charges that the FDAs ban of Ephedra "has nothing to do with safety since its been around for 4,000 years with no problems, and everything to do with the FDA snatching another supplement for the pharmaceutical industry."


Martini notes that the supplement has been found to be linked to no more than 100 deaths in the United States, but she says the studies have failed to look for a possible alternative cause, which she believes may be the artificial sweetener aspartame.


She said studies prove that aspartame "triggers strokes and big time damages the cardiac conduction system and causes sudden death. It triggers an irregular heart rhythm and interacts with all cardiac medication.


"Most people who are trying to lose weight and use Ephedra are the same people who are using aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful, E951, Canderel). And unless you asked the person using Ephedra if he also uses aspartame, now being used by two-thirds of the population and 40 percent of our kids, there would be no way of knowing. And it can also be hidden in natural and artificial flavors," Martini wrote.


Indeed, aspartame also has been shown to be a dangerous excitotoxin that stimulates the brain following ingestion, releasing excessive dopamine that kills brain cells. People literally experience an addiction to diet drinks containing aspartame because they enjoy the dopamine rush that somewhat resembles a cocaine high.


Aspartame is a proven poison, yet the FDA is not willing to ban this substance. It is so prevalent in our food supply today it is difficult buying prepared food products in stores that do not contain aspartame.


Martini also notes that adults can still walk into any store and buy cigarettes. Yet tobacco smoke causes an estimated 442,400 deaths every year. Why are cigarettes not banned but Ephedra is?


Aaron C. Donahue, in a recently comment about the FDAs moves to ban not only Ephedra but other vitamin supplements from over-the-counter sales, notes that Tylenol is another overlooked but lethal drug.


Tylenol, widely used as a pain killer, attacks the liver if taken in excess. It is especially deadly when taken with alcohol. "And this is just the beginning of the poisonous venue freely available from profit driven pharmaceutical companies that encourage disinformation, misinformation and outrageous lies in media concerning your alternative health choices," Donahue writes.


"Why should our caring pharmaceutical partners in health mislead us concerning alternative health choices? The answer is profit. It is all about money," Donahue concludes.


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