Popular Supplement Off the Shelves

By: Karen Kostko
By: Karen Kostko

Federal officials Tuesday announced plans to ban the popular dietary supplement ephedra. The ban is the first of its kind, blocking sales of over the counter drugs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and FDA commissioner Mark McClellan warned consumers not to take any products that contain ephedra. Local physicians agree with the ban and say it's about time.

Medical experts link ephedra to strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, anxiety, and even death.

Supporters of the supplement say it's safe if taken correctly. Until recently, Franck's Gym has carried products containing ephedra.

Between 12 and 17 million people use ephedra each year. The ban could kick in in a few weeks.


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