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Diet and Nutrition

What is in ZymaX?

09/21/2000

Question:

What do you know about a weight loss product called ZymaX? I received an advertisement about this product in the mail. Like many "too good to be true" products, it promises fast weight loss but doesn`t really tell what the product is. It`s available from Denman Scientific Research in Vancouver BC. Canada.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Zymax is an herbal weight loss supplement that is available by mail order only. There is very little information available except advertisements which, as you indicated, do not give detailed information on the ingredients. It appears that the supplement is actually two different formulations: one is taken in the morning and the other is taken in the afternoon. I do know that the morning supplement contains ephedrine which has the potential to decrease appetite and slightly increase metabolic rate when combined with caffeine. It is likely that a caffeine-containing herb has been included. There is also a risk of significant side effects at the level necessary to produce the weight loss benefits. These side effects include increased blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. There have also been several deaths reported from using herbal preparations which include ephedrine or ma huang at these higher doses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set the maximum dose of ephedrine at 24 mg/day. Because individuals often feel more energetic, even jittery, with ephedrine, it is not likely that ephedrine is in the pm supplement. A common addition to herbal weight loss preparations is a diuretic. It would seem likely that a diuretic may be part of the evening supplement since it is to be taken before 6 or 6:30 pm. A common herb used for this purpose is senna.

You indicate the advertisement makes weight loss claims "too good to be true." The claims probably are "too good to be true." Netwellness has answered numerous questions similar to yours on herbal weight loss preparations. Please return to the Ask the Expert page and use the "Search" option to find information from related questions. Search using the terms Ephedra/Ephedrine/ Ma Huang. Feel free to write back if you still have a question. 

* Learn important new information concerning the FDA withdrawal of dietary supplements containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra or Ma Huang)

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Response by:

Shirley A Kindrick, PhD Shirley A Kindrick, PhD
Former Team Leader of Comprehensive Weight Management
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University