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What are the risks of fat-burning supplements that contain stimulants?

Julie T. Chen, MD
Internal Medicine

Fat-burning supplements that contain stimulants can be too stressful for some people. In this video, integrative medicine specialist Julie Chen, MD, talks about the safety of these supplements.


Fat-burning supplements that contain stimulants can be dangerous. Many of them contain ephedra or its herbal counterpart, ma huang, which may cause stroke, heart attack and even death. The FDA banned these ingredients in 1994, but they're still found in some supplements.

Other fat-burning supplements may contain caffeine, in the form of green tea and guarana, which may lead to insomnia and anxiety. Talk to your health-care provider if you're considering taking one.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.