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Clin Pharmacol Ther 2013 Mar;93(3):267-74

Multiple dosing of ephedra-free dietary supplements: hemodynamic, electrocardiographic, and bacterial contamination effects.

Foster L, Allan MC, Khan A, Moore P, Williams DK, Hubbard M, Dixon L, Gurley BJ


Four popular ephedra-free dietary supplements were evaluated for their effects on heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and electrocardiographic (ECG) parameters. Twelve healthy men participated in a study randomized for product sequence, with a 21-day washout period between supplement-administration phases. Throughout the study, Holter monitors were used to assess ECG and HR activity. BP was assessed automatically on multiple occasions. The supplements were ingested three times daily for 3 days. Caffeine content, microbial load, and serum caffeine concentrations were determined. Mean systolic (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) readings showed significant increases relative to baseline (10.8 +/- 2.5 and 5.3 +/- 3.1 mm Hg, respectively; P < 0.05). All supplements significantly increased HR and decreased bradycardia runs; abnormal atrial/ventricular events were frequently noted. Gastrointestinal and sympathomimetic symptoms were also common. Two supplements were heavily contaminated with Bacillus species. In light of these findings, the use of ephedra-free dietary supplements should be discouraged in individuals with hypertension, diabetes, or other cardiovascular diseases.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #23361101 DOI: 10.1038/clpt.2012.241
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Toxicological Research
Entry Created: 2013-04-01