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Oxilofrine and nutritional supplements

Oxilofrine is a chemical drug classified as an amphetamine. It has similar chemical properties similar to ephedrine and synephrine. Basically a stimulant, it is a prohibited substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Oxilofrine is also an ingredient found in some diet and nutritional supplements. Find out what the substance can do to the body and mind.

Defining the substance

Oxilofrine is a stimulant that was originally created for the purpose of treating low blood pressure or hypotension. The drug supposedly increases adrenaline production, heart rate, and levels of oxygen in the blood. Users become more alert and focussed. It also improves endurance and stamina. Unfortunately, the drug is also believed to be present in nutritional supplements making users burn fat faster contributing to quicker weight loss.

  • Side effects

Long-term use of the drug can result to a very high heart rate or (tachycardia), irregular heartbeat (cardiac dysrhythmia), hypertension and even haemorraghic stroke.

  • Forms

Oxilofrine is the trade name for hydroxyephrine, oxyephrine, and methylsynephrine. In the UK, there is no widespread use of the drug. Oxilofrine is not a legal substance in the US. However, there are some companies which use oxilofrine in the form of synephrine in sports nutritional supplements. The substance can be taken as a nutrition supplement or in liquid capsule form.

  • Controversy

Several athletes who tested positive for doping blamed adulterated dietary supplements. For example Australian boxer, Sam Soliman tested positive for oxilofrine putting the blame on ‘Black Bombs’, a supplement drink. In 2010, Brazilian cyclist Flavia Oliveira also tested positive and pinpointed another dietary supplement called ‘Hyperdrive 3.0+' as the culprit.

Athletes are banned from using any performance enhancing substances at all including oxilofrine. However, the latest scandal surrounding the banned drug implicated famous athletic runners such as American sprinter Tyson Gay and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell. Powell denied taking the substance. On the other hand, oxilofrine is easy to take making it risky for anyone to take it deliberately.

Check labels in your supplements

The dope testing lab at the German Sports University of Cologne has analysed 634 supplements from 13 countries and it was revealed that 15% contained banned elements. No surprise here if oxilofrine is one of those. Hence, the next time you are thinking of using dietary supplements for weight loss or sports fitness, check the ingredients and read labels carefully. But, then again, if labelling is so poor or does not exist at all, you might, like these athletes be taking oxilofrine unknowingly.

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