It Is Important Research, but Why Is It Necessary?

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The findings regarding cardiovascular actions of dietary supplements labeled as “ephedra free” reported by Foster et al. in the March issue reaffirm decades of research that began in the 1920s with K.K. Chen's study of naturally occurring adrenergic chemicals. Although the study by Foster et al. provides scientifically sound data needed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it evaluates the safety of these products, we should ask, “Why was it necessary that these chemicals be studied again for their cardiovascular actions in humans?”

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