In light of the recent negative media attention, I would assume that many of us are worried about the future of ephedra-based products. I was contemplating writing a letter to the local newspaper here about the subject, just to get our viewpoint in front of more people. There are severe space restrictions on what I can write, so I tried to keep it short. I’m posting what I just quickly drafted below. Let me know what else should go in here. Maybe some of the more verbally-inclined posters here could help form a template for stuff like this?
Okay, here it is (keep in mind, VERY rough right now):
With the recent tragic death of Steve Bechler, much media scrutiny has turned to the common dietary supplement ephedra, or ephedra-containing products. Many, including Congressman John E. Sweeney from NY, have called for the ban of ephedra-based products in both Major League Baseball and this country. Doing so is entirely premature, and only reported by the media for its shock value.
Ephedra has not been cited as the cause of Bechler’s death, but rather heat stroke. Ephedra may have been a contributing factor, but so are the facts that he was overweight, had hypertension (which is contraindicated by the bottle of the ephedra product he was supposedly taking), had not eaten solid food in days, and was working out in overheated conditions while in poor physical condition himself.
I have nothing against the regulation of ephedra, as it is statistically safer than many products we use everyday, but before Rep. Sweeney and others start pushing for a ban, maybe they should do away with their caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, aspirin, and unhealthy diets before calling something unsafe.