If you are trying to lose some weight, getting some help in the form of a dietary supplement can be a good idea. A good dietary supplement makes the battle a little bit easier. A good dietary supplement can help your body burn down more fat and increase your energy levels so that you can exercise more effectively. Two popular weight loss supplements that we are going to discuss are Synephrine and Ephedra. For a long time, Ephedra has been incredibly popular. But the adverse side effects and banning make people think twice. Synephrine is said to be the better alternative. Well, is it? Continue reading below to see the comparisons between Synephrine vs Ephedra.
What is Ephedra?
“Ephedra” refers to the medicinal preparation from the plant Ephedra sinica. However, several other plants that belong to the same genus of Ephedra have also been used for the same medicinal purposes. Native Americans and Mormon pioneers are known to drink teas brewed from some Ephedra species, respectively known as Indian tea and Mormon tea. Ephedra contains various alkaloid and non-alkaloid compounds with stimulant and thermogenic effects. Ephedra is widely known for the great stimulant and thermogenic effects, and thus often used for various traditional treatments and performance enhancement purposes.
The primary chemical components of Ephedra are ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These chemical substances are the source of most of its stimulant and thermogenic properties. However, dietary supplements containing ephedrine have been banned by the FDA because of the adverse side effects. But dietary supplements with Ephedra that do not contain ephedrine have not been banned are still sold legally.
Benefits of Ephedra
Ephedra is widely used for various treatments because it has potent stimulant and thermogenic effects. It is able to stimulate brain, increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels, and expand bronchial tubes. It is able to increase the metabolism rate, which leads to increased body heat and energy levels. For medication purposes, it is used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia and to treat asthma, narcolepsy, and sometimes obesity. It can be taken by mouth or by injection into the muscle, vein, or skin. The effects are very quick to come up; an oral consumption takes about an hour for effects, whereas an injection into a muscle only requires about 20 minutes for effects.
As a dietary supplement, Ephedra is often used to enhance athletic performance. It is often used as an aid for weight loss, as it effectively increases the metabolism rate so that the body burns more fat. As a result of the increased metabolism rate, the body will also experience higher energy levels. However, Ephedra is not always recommended for weight loss due to the significant side effects.
Adverse Effects of Ephedra
The primary reason why people consider Synephrine vs Ephedra is that Ephedra comes with a number of side effects. Ephedra consumption may cause severe skin reactions, anxiety, irritability, headache, dizziness, insomnia, dehydration, trembling, and irregular heartbeat. Ephedra greatly increases the heart rate. As some people put it, if you go running after consuming Ephedra, you will feel as if the death is near. Your heart will beat very quickly. Your hands will also shake like crazy.
In extreme cases, the consumption of Ephedra may lead to heart attack, stroke, or death. In particular, the cases that resulted in death mostly involve Ephedra supplements that contain ephedrine. Although the adverse side effects of Ephedra sound scary, some people still with their Ephedra supplements for weight loss. They have managed to endure the side effects and avoid demanding activities in order to shed some pounds. But this is not exactly a healthy method of weight loss.
What is Synephrine?
On the other hand, Synephrine is an alkaloid that naturally occurs in several plants and animals. You can find it at very low concentrations within orange juice and orange products, in both sweet and bitter varieties. The preparations in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use dried immature whole oranges. Today’s modern production of Synephrine is mostly sourced from the peels of the orange fruit Citrus aurantium alias bitter orange.
Although Synephrine has been used for millennia as a component of many TCM formulas, the FDA does not approve it as an OTC drug. Pharmaceutically, it is used as a sympathomimetic by injection for treating emergencies such as shock. For pharmaceutical purposes, it is rarely consumed by mouth for treating hay fever and asthma. However, Synephrine is pretty common in dietary supplements, especially the ones for weight loss.
Effects of Synephrine
There is a big difference in the effects of Synephrine vs Ephedra. Synephrine is known for its adrenergic effects, which last longer than norepinephrine. The adrenergic effects are increased cognition and power and overall body performance because of an adrenaline rush. Various scientific studies have shown that Synephrine provides cardio-vascular effects. The most prominent feature is that it increases the systolic blood pressure and pulse rate, but it does not affect the diastolic pressure at all. The effects of Synephrine are quite immediate, coming up within five minutes following the injection, and last for about an hour. Respiration is not affected by the treatment.
Synephrine is popularly used in weight-loss dietary supplements, either as a pure extract or as an additional ingredient to the main formula – it is most commonly combined with caffeine for weight loss. However, there is no real effect for weight loss that Synephrine can provide. It only slightly increases the heart rate, and perhaps the metabolism. But such effects are not very dramatic.
Synephrine’s Side Effects
However, when choosing between Synephrinevs Ephedra, one should understand that Synephrine has much less adverse side effects. Unlike Ephedra, which may cause serious side effects, the consumption of Synephrine is generally safe. Only doses greater than 200 mg can cause side effects such as sweating, headache, and heart palpitations. Such effects do not occur at low doses.
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In general, Synephrine is more recommended than Ephedra because of the fewer, less adverse side effects. Synephrine is generally safer to consume. You should aim to shed some pounds by controlling your appetite and exercising, and some Synephrine supplement can help a little in the effort.