U.S. Marshals at the request of the FDA have seized raw materials from Infinity Marketing Group, Inc. containing ephedrine alkaloids, ingredients banned by FDA since 2004 for use in dietary supplements.
The seized materials, more than 4,000 pounds of ephedrine alkaloid-containing raw material - Cissus quadrangularis and Cassia angustifolia extracts – were valued at $70,000.
Ephedrine alkaloids are adrenaline-like stimulants that are potentially dangerous effects to the heart. Before 2004, ephedrine alkaloids had been used extensively in dietary supplements promoted for aiding weight control and boosting sports performance and energy. However, available data showed little evidence of ephedrine’s effectiveness. There could be a modest, short-term weight loss, but that was without any clear health benefit. Yet the alkaloid raised blood pressure and otherwise stressed the circulatory system, effects tied to heart attack, stroke and death.