When the FDA launched an investigation last August into the safety of Metabolife, the nation's leading ephedra seller, bodybuilder Tom Ostrander said he'd continue using ephedra products and that people jump to conclusions when something goes wrong.
"I think people need to look at their diets and lifestyles instead of blaming a product. I've used it for 7 years and I've never had a problem," Tom Ostrander.
Now another FDA investigation is underway to find if there's a link between the popular weightloss supplement and the death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler. But even with that possibility, Tom uses the product especially when he's preparing for competition.
"The autopsy results haven't come back from that guy yet, so how do you know this is linked to ephedra? Is it possible, yeah, it's highly possible, but ephedra is just like everything else. If you use it in moderation, it's fine and safe. If you abuse it, of course it'll be dangerous," said Tom.
While the FDA has launched several investigations into the use of ephedra as a weightloss drug, they're zeroing in on the risk it could pose for athletes, which has some doctors anxious for answers.
"Healthy athletes can experience heat exhaustion, but a baseball player that's not in a high humidity environment and not an over-exerted exercise, shouldn't have a problem. It raises a red flag and you have to at least investigate that," Dr. Jeff Kovan, MSU Sports Medicine.
Dr. Kovan oversees the drug and alcohol testing program for MSU athletics, and says since there are so many unanswered questions about its safety, it's best for athletes and the public to be cautious, so as the debate continues, no one can claim they weren't warned.
wilx.com: Extended Web Coverage
What is Ephedra?
Source: http://www.ephedra.demon.nl (The Ephedra Site)