Which is better for weight loss results: Ephedrine Alkaloids vs Ephedra Extract? If you have been researching Ephedra and ephedrine to find out which one can help you lose the most weight, chances are that there are a lot of new terms and definitions that you have come across. Sometimes, two supplements can have very similar names but products entirely different results. One perfect example is the confusion between ephedrine alkaloids, ephedrine extract, ephedra alkaloids, and ephedra extract. While all four of these terms are used, ephedrine is correctly classified as an alkaloid and not ephedra, and ephedra is typically sold as an extract and not ephedrine.
In case this has only served to confuse you more, let’s take a step back! Ephedra is an extract from a plant known as Ma Huang or Ephedra Sinica. Ephedra contains a number of different chemical alkaloids with medicinal properties, including the ephedrine alkaloid. Another popular alkaloid from ephedra sinica is pseudoephedrine. It is the ephedrine alkaloid that is the active ingredient from ephedra that produces weight loss results.
An analogy might help you understand the situation better. Imagine that ephedra is similar to coffee. Within the coffee bean, there are a number of different chemicals, but the chemical that produces the effects of alertness and increased focus is caffeine. Caffeine is to coffee just as ephedrine is to ephedra. Without the ephedrine, ephedra is like decaffeinated coffee: not very effective at keeping you awake. However, many weight loss products market themselves these days as containing ephedra extract when they do not in fact contain ephedrine. This is like selling decaffeinated coffee and saying that it will help you stay awake!
Some of these products also can mislead users by claiming to contain pure ephedra, but not actually ephedra from the ephedra sinica plant. There are a number of different species of plants that fall under the ephedra genus:
Ephedra Sinica or Ma Huang: This is the plant that is traditionally used for weight loss. It contains the highest concentration of ephedrine alkaloids.
Sida Cordifolia: This version of the herb does contain some ephedrine alkaloids, thought at lower concentration levels than ephedra sinica proper.
If your weight loss pill contains 100 mg of ephedra nevadensis as opposed to 100 mg of ephedra sinica, you will receive much less of the active ingredient to support your weight loss. In fact, 313 mg of pure ephedra sinica are required to extract a typical dosage of ephedrine HCL 25 mg. In order to get the same amount of ephedrine from Sida Cordifolia, you would need to consume 418 mg of the substance.
Another concern with taking pure ephedra derived from natural sources is that there is very little control over the actual dose of ephedrine present. In some cases, you could receive much less than 25 mg of ephedrine. In other cases, you could receive a dangerous amount more. This is why most people now will get their ephedrine HCL from synthesized sources where it can be produced and regulated in a lab environment. This also serves to bring down the cost of ephedrine, making it more affordable for dieters who want to lose weight but can’t spend upwards of $50 on more expensive supplements.
If you are trying an ephedra diet for the very first time, you should start with an ephedrine HCL dose of 10 mg or less. This will help you ease into the pill so that potential side effects are lessened. Ephedrine HCL is legal to buy in doses of 8 mg so long as the product is officially marketed as a nasal decongestant. You can find ephedrine for sale online for as little as $8 a bottle for 50 tablets. While some people do experience side effects when using ephedrine and ephedra products, they are safe if following a doctor advised dosage plan and if not used for long durations of time.
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