In every experiment, a scientist must have a hypothesis. Formulate null and alternate hypothesis for your study.

Ephedra is one of the many herbal supplements that claim to help people burn fat, build muscle and increase endurance. As a result, many athletes are taking it, in the hope it will give them a cutting edge against their competitors. The question is “are th ese claims really true?”

Look at the advertisements that are included below . Both are taken from the Internet.

Sample Advertisement 1

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Ultimate Energizer, High Potency Ephedra and Caffeine

(Young Again 2002 Web site)

The Ultimate Energizer has 100 capsules with 257 mg of ephedra and 100 mg of caffeine and a proprietary blend of fat melting herbs. It packs a wallop, and it is not for everyone! Read our

cautions and full description. This fat burning supplement is 3 times more potent than Metabolife.

Please note the following cautions abou t the ULTIMATE ENERGIZER and other products that contain ephedra:

Ephedra, also known as ma huang, is a common ingredient in herbal weight – loss products. It has been shown to be generally safe and effective. It is also use d to treat depression, asthma, colds, and other respiratory complaints. Ephedra should not be used by people with anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, or by those with glaucoma, heart disease or high blood pressure. Avoid this herb if you are taking me dication for depression. Since it stimulates the central nervous system, avoid caffeine, St. John’s Wort, and over – the – counter decongestant medications while taking ephedra.

Source: From the Young Again 2000 Web site, Available at:

http://www.youngagain2000. com/marcella75/ulen50100cap.html 2002 Version*

*The most recent version of this Website includes another weight loss product that is “Ephedra – free”, since the Food and Drug Administration has recently banned all products containing ephedrine alkaloids.

Sample Advertisements for Ephedra – Containing Products

Nature’s SUPER CAP

(850 mg Ephedra Extract)

Because of Super Cap’s high yield of ephedrine, it has many of the benefits of a bronchodilator,

opening the airway and dramatically enhancing breathing performance. It is also a preferred product among serious bodybuilders looking to achieve greater endurance and greater strength levels.

8% Ephedra Alkaloids per Capsule, delivering 68 mg of naturally occurring Ephedrine

Supplement Facts

Serving size : One capsule

Amount per serving : Ephedra sinicaextract (aerial parts) — 883 mg

* Daily value not established

Other Ingredients : Calcium sulfate, ge latin, maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, and silica

Directions (adults only) : Take one capsule daily as a dietary supplement. Not for use by minors.

Warning :

Ephedra contains naturally occurring ephedrine. If you are pregnant or nursing, or if

you ha ve heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression or other psychiatric conditions, glaucoma, difficulty in urinating, prostate enlargement, or seizure disorder, consult a health care provider before using this product. Do not use if you are using monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or for two weeks after stopping an MAOI drug; certain drugs for depression, psychiatric or emotional conditions; drugs for Parkinson’s disease; methyldopa; or any product containing ephedrine, pseudoeph edrine, or phenylpropanolamine (ingredients found in allergy, asthma, cough/cold, and weight control products). Stop use and call a health care professional immediately if dizziness, severe headache, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, tremor, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, noticeable change of behavior or loss of consciousness occurs. Do not exceed recommended serving.

Manufactured under authority of D&E Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Source: From the D&E Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Web site. Available at: http://d – n –

*From the bottle label of the product Ephedra: Nature’s Super Caps (24 capsules)


Here you have an opportunity to design your study that can determine if these claims are true. You are a research scientist, and you are being paid by an independent cons umer rights advocate group to see if this product does what it claims to do.



Q1. What type of study will you pursue? (name)

Q2 . In every experiment, a scientist must have a hypothesis. Formulate null and alternate hypothesis for your study.

Q3 . What method will you use to test your hypothesis? Explain briefly.

Q 4 . What are the ethical issues that a researcher must face when conducting an experiment suc h as this?

Q 5 . How can these issues be resolved?

Q6 . How would you measure the outcome of your experiment?