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The Journal of Internal Korean Medicine > Volume 27(4); 2006 > Article
The Journal of Internal Korean Medicine 2006;27(4): 836-843.
마황복용이 정상성인의 체중 감소와 심박변이도에 미치는 영향에 관한 예비 연구: 무작위배정 이중맹검시험
양창섭, 형례창, 여진주, 서의석, 장인수
우석대학교 한의과대학 한방내과학교실
Effects of Ephedra on Weight Loss and Heart Rate Variability: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Pilot Study
Chang-sop Yang, Li-chang Hsing, Jin-ju Yeo, Eui-seok Seo, In-soo Jang
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Woosuk University
Correspondence  In-soo Jang ,Tel: 063-220-8608, Fax: 063-220-8616, Email: kmdjang@woosuk.ac.kr
  Published online: December 30, 2006.
Mahuang (Ephedra sinica STAPF) is well known as an herbal medicine and has been widely used to reduce body weight and increase athletic ability. However, as a result of reporting many cases of adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, use of dietary supplements containing ephedra was prohibited by the FDA.

The object of this study was to find the effectiveness of ephedra on weight loss without severe adverse effect.

Methods :
16 healthy volunteers consisting of an ephedra group (N=8) and a placebo group (N=8) were investigated. Study form was a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial. The ephedra group took 12g of ephedra while the placebo group took 12g of glutinous rice powder. Both groups were measured with BCA (body composition analysis) on weight loss and with HRV (heart rate variability) on its adverse effect before and after medication.

The following results were obtained after taking 12g of ephedra for 14 days. In the ephedra group, body weight reduced significantly. In the placebo group, there were no significant differences of body weight between before and after placebo treatment. There was a slight increase of heart beat rate and deactivation of cardiac activity. Parasympathetic nerves were deactivated, but balances of autonomic nervous system were well maintained.

The results suggest that ephedra in healthy adults tends to reduce body weight and deactivation of autonomic nervous system and cardiac activity.
Key words: Mahuang, Ephedra, Ephedrine, Weight Loss, Adverse effect
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