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Everything You Need to Know About Illegal Fat Burners

Illegal fat burners were once popular and widely used since they had significant fat burning effects. However, they got banned in many countries on recommendation by government bodies concerned with food safety such as the FDA and FSA. If they worked, why were they banned?

Why illegal fat burners were banned

These supplements were banned because of their ingredients which brought about serious side effects. Some of the dangerous ingredients that are contained in these supplements are ephedrine, DNP and clenbuterol.

Ephedrine is a drug derived from the Chinese herb ephedra. Use of ephedrine in fat burners was banned by the FDA and the products were removed from the market in April 2004 (temporarily reinstated 2005). The reason behind the ban was safety concerns. The agency had recorded 80 deaths and 1400 complaints on adverse effects.

DNP stands for 2,4-dinitrophenol. It is an industrial chemical that was found to cause weight loss in a 1920 study that was conducted by Stanford University. This led to physicians prescribing it to obese patients. The FDA banned it for human consumption because it was reported to cause cataract formation in female users. A number of deaths were linked to the use of products containing this chemical.

Clenbuterol is a steroid-like chemical that was initially developed to alleviate respiratory problems such as asthma in horses. As time went by, people started using it to burn fat and increase lean muscle mass. It is banned for human use in most countries. It is also forbidden for use in animals that are to be later slaughtered for food. The ban is as a result of the side effects it causes in humans. Clenbuterol has been responsible for a number of cases of poisoning in humans.

Are illegal fat burners still available?

Unfortunately, these dangerous products are still available. Some of the users who were hooked to them continued to use them even after they got banned. There are some online sites that still sell them. For instance, some bodybuilding sites still promote clenbuterol for its fat burning and lean muscle mass benefits. Some gyms and stores have also been reported to sell them under the counter. You may be tempted to use them to see what they will do for you. A point to note is that use of these substances can cause dangerous side effects and even sudden death.

Related: Best LEGAL Fat Burners Today

Side effects of illegal fat burners


Illegal fat burners, such as those that are ephedrine-based, have a stimulating effect. They improve mental focus and physical energy hence boosting your workout intensity. However, the increased energy levels can make it hard for you to sleep, bringing about insomnia.


The stimulating effect can lead to addiction. The period of increased energy is usually followed by an equally low point. Your metabolism may slow down and in case you had stopped taking the pills, you may regain the lost weight. These factors usually prompt people to take these pills frequently, leading to addiction.


Psychosis is an abnormal condition characterized by loss of contact with reality. Its two main symptoms are hallucinations and delusions.

Nervousness and hand tremors

Fat burners containing banned substances can cause nervousness and hand tremors. The reason for the nervous response is your body’s increased fight or flight response. As a result, your reaction to ordinary situations will be as if they were stressful or dangerous.

Heart problems

Fat burners usually increase circulation by some level. Dangerous fat burners can cause irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure to the extent that they increase your risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. They may also lead to a coma and even death.

Other side effects that have been linked to these supplements include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Flushed skin
  • Dehydration
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Breathing difficulties

Should you risk by purchasing them?

Even though these products may cause quicker weight loss than legal supplements, you shouldn’t dare spend money on them. The potential side effects are far too serious to be ignored. There are legal fat burners that don’t have any of the dangerous ingredients present in their illegal counterparts. One point to note is that you don’t have to use a diet pill to shed those annoying pounds. You can lose weight naturally by sticking to a healthy nutrition and exercise plan.

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