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Old 04-13-2003, 01:00 AM   #42
Suzanne 3FC
it's always something
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 11,614


There is an article about Xenedrine at WebMD

I'll copy just the part regarding EFX:

Ephedrine-Free, but Risk-Free?

Enter Xenadrine EFX, a newer, ephedrine-free formula.

It's true that Xenadrine EFX has no ephedrine in it, but Rarback points out that it does have "bitter orange," a citrus fruit that contains synephrine, which is chemically similar to ephedrine. This product carries the same warnings for people with heart conditions and mental illness as the original formula does.

As for the other ingredients in Xenadrine EFX, Rarback says none have been proven to aid in weight loss -- for example, green tea and ginger. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2000 found that green tea speeds up metabolism and may be a useful weight-loss aid. But Rarback argues that one study isn't enough proof, and that the bulk of research on green tea has been concerned with its antioxidant properties. Also, ginger has been studied primarily as a remedy for nausea.

Cytodyne Technologies has commissioned research on both Xenadrine formulas, finding them safe and effective. Cited on a page of the company's web site is a study titled, "Ephedrine-free Xenadrine-EFX outperforms leading ephedra-based diet supplements." The source given is a 2002 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Every day brings news of studies published in medical journals. The average reader might reasonably assume that the journal article was, like those often referred to in news reports, a peer-reviewed study. That means the journal's editors have accepted the article for publication based on rigorous scientific standards. "Ephedrine-free Xenadrine-EFX outperforms leading ephedra-based diet supplements," however, actually refers to an abstract of a presentation made at an American College of Nutrition meeting, which happened to be printed in the journal -- quite different from peer-reviewed publication.

"That certainly is not a title we would publish," said the journal's managing editor, Richard Caldwell, PhD, when asked about the study. Later, in a statement, he wrote, "The abstract has not been peer-reviewed by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, nor has the study it refers to been in any way scrutinized by the Journal."

"There's no indication that we've done anything illegal or unethical," says Shane Freedman, a lawyer for Cytodyne Technologies.

Rarback takes issue with the before-and-after pictures on the Xenadrine web site, too, which show "after" pictures of people flexing their rippling muscles. "They're absurd," she says. The fine print reads, "Endorsers used Xenadrine EFX in connection with a diet and exercise program."

There's diet and exercise, yet again.

Another ephedrine-free diet pill called Hydroxycut, made by MuscleTech, Inc., contains hydroxycitric acid, derived from the Garcinia cambogia plant. To support its claims, the company cites a study showing that people taking G. cambogia with a diet of 2,000 calories a day and 30 minutes of exercise five days a week lost an average of ten pounds in eight weeks.

More research is needed to clarify the effect of diet and exercise plus G. cambogia. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found no difference in weight loss between people taking G. cambogia and those taking a placebo.

Instead of spending your money on supplements, Rarback says, exercise, eat right, and "use that money to buy yourself some new clothes for your new figure."

Published Feb. 18, 2003.
On a side note, I found the reference to the study in the Journal of Medicine particularly shocking. Knowing this was manipulated this way makes you wonder if you can ever believe anything any supplement manufacturer claims!

Ok, so I'm not shocked, lol, this is an extremely common practice! Another reason never to believe what the supplement makers tell you, but you should look for medical references instead.

Also noteworthy is the reference to the Hydroxycut study. Eat right and exercise 30 minutes a day and you can lose a pound a week. You don't need a supplement for that!
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