Ephedran Vs. Ephedrine Supplement Benefits & Side Effects [Brand Extract]
Ephedran is a proprietary extract from the Ephedra plant that is used in certain dietary supplements.
This term can also refer to the ephedran alkaloids, which are a class of phytochemicals found in ephedra extract.
It can be confusing for consumers to keep these terms straight when thinking about ephedran, ephedra, ephedrine and other products marketed with similar names.
What you need to know is that the proprietary form of Ephedran which was included in products like the supplement Hellfire EPH 150 by Innovative Labs is now no longer available.
Ephedran proprietary extract has since been replaced by Thermo-Z following the purchase of Innovative Labs by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals.
Controversy continues regarding the United States ban of ephedrine from dietary and over-the-counter supplements back in 2004, to be closely followed by other countries around the world.
So, what exactly is ephedran and did it contain genuine ephedrine? Where can you get this extract today and what supplements provide equivalent benefits? Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
What is Ephedran?
Ephedran is a proprietary blend used as an ingredient in dietary supplements like the original formulation of Hellfire EPH 150.
Looking at a number of thermogenic, weight loss, and fat burning supplements on the market today, you might find it as an ingredient listed on the label.
How does it differ from other forms of Ephedra extract? Ephedran is a brand-name given to a signature blend or formulation of ephedra.
Anything that is extracted and processed from the ephedra plant can be called “ephedra extract”. But there can be significant differences between the quality and potency of extracts sold by different companies.
For example, certain extracts may contain higher amounts of certain active ingredients like ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Certain extracts might also be processed to higher standards and have gone through more quality control.
Supplement companies will often used proprietary blend names like Ephedran for ephedra extract when they include the same ingredients in multiple product lines. This helps customers have some continuity between what to expect and to know where to find high quality products.
Supplements containing Ephedran
Ephedran was included as an ingredient in one popular product sold by Innovative Labs called Hellfire Eph 150. This is still available in an updated form with purported benefits for incinerating fat cells and producing a huge impact on energy levels.
Hellfire Eph 150 is marketed to provide a number of benefits to users, such as:
- Boosting metabolism
- Decrease in body fat
- Enhanced energy
- Improved concentration or focus
The ingredients mention “Ephedran brand extract C” which is a proprietary blend or compound that they market as comparable to the effects of genuine ephedrine with the ephedrine alkaloids still included.
The ‘C’ stands for caffeine. In this case, Ephedran refers to the precise combination of the ingredients, their ratio, dosages and quality standardization.
Caffeine and ephedrine stacks were popular before the ban and continue to be so. However, nowadays have to use products that mimic the effect of ephedrine rather than use the real stuff.
Another popular product is manufactured by Anabolic Science Labs – their product is known as Yellow Demons. These pills contain a proprietary blend of ephedran (described as a brand extract), as well as combinations of caffeine anhydrous, black tea, green coffee extract, and sida cordifolia.
Trying to determine exactly what the ephedran brand extract contains is difficult if not impossible, as manufacturers are not particularly vocal about their proprietary or special blends.
What is interesting is that both of these products claim to contain high levels of ephedra though little to no information is found about the actual manufacturer of the product, with vague, if not incomplete profile of ingredients.
Because of the difficulty in finding information about manufacturers, it is perceived that some vendors who only supply e-mail addresses (typically with a foreign country extension) for requests for additional information come from foreign manufacturers and underground labs.
Such manufacturers are not held to the manufacturing processes regulated by countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and so forth.
It can be implied however, that some of the ephedran products available on the market today, primarily from foreign manufacturing companies, actually do contain some levels of pure ephedra that still contains the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine alkaloids.
While this may be considered a good thing by athletes and dieters looking for genuine ephedrine, lack of information about sources and milligram strength or falsified or missing ingredients on labels can have a detrimental effect on health and wellness.
Watching for Side Effects
Products that mention ephedran extract as a component or blend to the product ingredients should be used with caution.
This is not to imply that all of these products are dangerous, but they can be, especially when label ingredients are vague or potentially missing.
For example, one popular product (Hellfire BPH 150) causes a number of negative side effects. Those side effects are not just limited to first-timers or those who are super-sensitive to its components.
The below listed side effects are common to ephedran/ephedrine usage, and products that contain ephedran extract:
- Heart palpitations
- Upset stomach/nausea/stomach pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased blood pressure
- Blurred vision
Products that contain high milligram strengths of caffeine or other thermogenic agents coupled with ephedran/ephedrine and other components designed to mimic the effects of ephedrine such as Bitter Orange can also contribute to adverse health offense that can include but are not limited to:
- Myocardial infarction
Athletes, dieters, and bodybuilders may scoff at the warnings, but overstimulating the central nervous system with such products can contribute to a number of unexpected and undesired reactions.
Products that list ephedran can also be misleading. In some products today, ephedran is defined as a cactus fiber on ingredient labels. However, milligram strength and accurate dosage information is still lacking, especially in regard to safety.
The names of such weight-loss products are often “intimidating” – implying that they’re super potent that have the ability to perform nearly miraculous results for users. Because of the often-excessive number of stimulative components or thermogenic ingredients in such products, users should always proceed with caution.
When looking for ephedran/ephedrine, turned to well-known manufacturers. In most cases, the more legitimate manufacturers will supply images of both the front and the back of the label, specifically defining label ingredients. Even so, some label ingredients are vague such as those that promote special blends, proprietary ingredients, and so forth.
To make things even more complicated, there are also certain natural plant chemicals found in the ephedra sinica leaves and stems that are known as “Ephedrans”. These are distinct from the products sold as Ephedran extract in dietary supplements.
There are five compounds known as Glycans in ephedra extract that are collectively labelled as Ephedran A – E. Glycans refer to types of chemical compounds typically made of simple sugars or monosaccharides.
The Ephedran glycans are believed to promote some of the weight loss benefits of this supplement by helping to normalize blood sugar levels. For example, they have been shown to significantly reduced serum glucose levels in mice.
Thermo-Z, which replaced the proprietary Ephedran extract, is purpored to contain 10% glycans (ephdrans) along with other ingredients found naturally in the ephedra herb to support weight loss.
Ephedran vs. Ephedren
Do not confuse Ephedran with Ephedren, which is a distinct dietary supplement sold by Nutrastar. This product contains 20 mg of ephedra extract leaves without any ephedrine alkaloids.
Ephedren is promoted as a thermogenic weight loss aid and also contains Hoodia to suppress the appetite and cayenne extract to stimulate a higher metabolism.
The product also contains an ” Ephedranol Proprietary Blend” of ingredients such as Caffeine Anhydrous, White Willow Bark (15% Salicin), Coleus Forkolii (20% extract), and NADH.
There are a number of additional ingredients designed to promote Adrenal function, including Siberian Ginseng, Green Tea, Schizonepeta, Ginger Root, Guarana, L-Carnitine and Citris Aurantium.
While this supplement contains a large number of different ingredients, many of the dosages are low or are not specified. Sometimes using multiple synergistic ingredients can be beneficial, but it can also lead to increased risk of side effects and complications.