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Internet Weight Loss Supplements: A Bad Idea and Bad For You

We've all gotten the spam messages in our inbox about pills promising immediate weight loss, without the help of diet and exercise. Sure, it may seem tempting, but new research has found that weight-loss supplements widely available for purchase online often include ingredients that are potentially hazardous to your heart.

I am not a fan of weight-loss supplements — I believe that the benefits of exercise and eating healthy far outweigh losing a few quick pounds. However, I know a lot of folks still invest in weight-loss pills, so I wanted to be sure that if you do, you know which ingredients raise a red flag in terms of safety. For a starter list of ingredients in weight-loss supplements that could be dangerous for your heart,


  • Ma huang (also known as Chinese ephedra)
  • Bitter orange
  • Camellia sinensis
  • Green tea
  • Buckwheat
  • Guarana
  • Korean ginseng
  • Licorice root
  • Synephrine HCl
  • Caffeine anhydrous
  • Citrus aurantium

I was surprised to see that green tea made the list, but it does contain caffeine. It is better to drink your green tea than take it in a supplement form mixed with other questionable ingredients.


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Join The Conversation
xlove33 xlove33 8 years
really? green tea being dangerous to your heart? Please! I suppose ephedra is for certain people, I had no problems with it.
emalove emalove 8 years
This seems like common sense to me.
kia kia 8 years
People do like the idea of "magic" in a bottle. Online weight loss schemes remind me of the charlatans with potions in old time movies.
rpenner rpenner 8 years
I would never buy any weight lose supplements to begin with but I can't believe that people would actually purchase them online from spam they received!!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I would never buy anything like this esp offline.
yasume yasume 8 years
I thought that the FDA placed a ban on Ma huang (Ephedra). But hell, one can get anyting on the internet. I drink Green Tea because it has overall benefits and I like tea. I don't subscribe to weight-loss supplements at all. I am a believer in good old fashion hard work-daily diet and exercise. There isn't a quick fix. I have lost over 30 pounds and have kept it off and still can eat whatever I want albeit in moderation.
ephedran ephedran 8 years
A very, very good article. There are real risks, which must be addressed with a medical proffesional. Ephedra Virdis has been around for centuries. aka mormon tea
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