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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A mysterious blood pressure increase in a drilling Naval reservist.

This is a case report of a reservist who presented for a physical examination with hypertension. It was discovered that the reservist was unknowingly taking large doses of Ephedra sinica, or ma huang, a Chinese herbal supplement, for body-building. One of the ingredients in ma huang is ephedrine, an active alpha- and beta-adrenergic stimulant that produces increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output. Ma huang has been reported to cause hypertension, hepatitis, nephrolithiasis, and sudden death in healthy, normotensive people. Ma huang will produce a positive urinary drug screen for stimulants and can be a drug of abuse. A recommendation is made to screen for dangerous supplement use before physical readiness training and to stop the supplement for 1 month before beginning any exercise program.[1]


  1. A mysterious blood pressure increase in a drilling Naval reservist. Wettach, G.E., Falvey, S.G. Military medicine. (2002) [Pubmed]
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