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Use of Non-Prescription Diet Pills & Supplements to Reduce Weight

Over-the-Counter Weight Loss Supplements

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Ineffective or Unhealthy

There are few healthy and effective diet supplements for weight loss. Some weight loss supplements help control appetite, but they can have serious side effects. Other diet supplements can be highly addictive and can have adverse effects on the heart and central nervous system, while some weight loss supplements do nothing at all.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Risks of Stomach fillers

The FDA states that some bulking agents used in diet supplements, such as fiber-based products, may absorb liquid and swell in the stomach, thereby reducing hunger.

Some of these fillers, such as guar gum, can be harmful, causing obstructions in the intestines, stomach, or esophagus.

The FDA has taken legal action against several promoters of diet supplements containing guar gum.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements
Appetite Suppressants Can Become Addictive

Some appetite suppressant supplements contain amphetamine derivatives and are highly addictive. In addition their effect tends to wear off if they are taken for long periods, so the patient is inclined to take large and larger doses with ever increasing addiction. A high risk method of weight loss with no evidence of long term weight control.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Warnings About Ephedra

Ephedra, also known as ma huang, is a strong stimulant found in popular "herbal phen-fen" weight loss supplements. While it relieves nasal congestion and some allergic disorders, Varro E. Tyler, an authority of the medicinal use of herbs, states: "there is no substantial clinical evidence that [ephedra] is either a safe or effective promoter of weight loss." And, ephedra can be very damaging to the body, especially when abused. When taken regularly in weight loss supplements, your body can stay in an unnaturally high gear and there is risk for heart palpitations, heart attacks, and strokes.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements
Ephedra Labels and Dosage Levels

The FDA urges everyone to consult with a doctor before trying any ephedra diet supplement and experts advise against using any weight-loss supplements that contain the herb. If you do, check the labels to make sure you don't get more than 8 milligrams of the drug ephedrine in any 6 hour period, and don't take any ephedra product for more than a week. You should avoid ephedra completely if you have hypertension, heart trouble, kidney disease, neurologic disorders, diabetes, or an overactive thyroid gland, or if you're pregnant or nursing. Finally, the FDA warns against "herbal" supplements containing caffeine and ephedrine. Any weight loss supplements with these twin ingredients the FDA considers a "deadly combination."

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Ephedra Ineffective

Ephedra is not even especially effective for weight loss.

According to a report in the journal Obesity Research (1995), researchers found that diet supplements containing ephedrine combined with caffeine helped obese patients on a strict diet lose an extra 7.5 pounds over six months compared with patients who dieted without the weight loss supplements.

Not exactly sensational weight loss.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - HCA

HCA, or hydroxycitric acid, is an herbal extract found in commercial weight-loss supplements. The chemical supposedly suppresses the appetite and slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into fat.

But in a study published in the Nov. 11, 1998, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Columbia University gave HCA herbal diet supplements (1,500 milligrams each day) to 66 overweight patients. Result? HCA failed to produce significant weight loss.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Pyruvate

This natural compound has gained wide popularity as a muscle builder and weight-loss aid. Makers claim pyruvate is a natural alternative to prescription diet drugs such as phentermine and fenfluramine (phen-fen), but the International Journal of Sports Nutrition calls such statements misleading. Allegedly, there's no evidence that pyruvate matches the weight loss effects of prescription drugs. In one of the few human studies of pyruvate, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that overweight patients who took pyruvate weight loss supplements lost an average of 2 ounces(!) of extra weight per week, compared with patients who took a placebo. Pyruvate also has side effects, which may include intestinal distress, bloating, and diarrhea, when consumed in large amounts.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - PPA

Short for phenylpropanolamine, PPA was one of the most popular weight loss drugs in the country, but not because of it's outstanding weight loss benefits. According to Robert Sherman of the FDA's Office of Over the Counter Drug Evaluation, "even the best studies show only about a half pound greater weight loss per week using PPA combined with diet and exercise." PPA also had significant side effects. In October 2000, The FDA concluded that PPA was too dangerous to be available in over-the-counter weight loss supplements and called for makers to stop selling diet pills containing it.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Federal Regulation & Action

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a number of state attorneys general have successfully brought cases against marketers of weight loss supplements that claim to absorb or burn fat.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned 111 ingredients once found in over-the-counter diet supplements.

No weight loss supplements containing alcohol, caffeine, dextrose and guar gum offer effective weight loss.

Weight Loss & Diet Supplements - Advice

When checking out weight loss supplements, read the claims and literature carefully. One product manufacturer, who claimed his diet supplements were very beneficial for weight loss, also encouraged users to exercise for 20 to 60 minutes five to seven days a week; eat three low-fat, balanced meals and two snacks every day; eat at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetable each day; drink six to eight glasses of water every day; limit or stop drinking alcohol; stop eating two to three hours before bedtime; reach for the walking shoes before reaching for the refrigerator...etc. Since all this virtually guarantees weight loss and long term weight control, what is the point of buying the weight loss supplements?

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