It seems not a day ges by that at some point in the day we are reminded of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. We are bombarded with advertisements, doctor shows, and magazines telling us to do this or take that -- remedies that claim to help people lose a mere10 pounds on up to 100 plus. It seems we are all looking for that magic pill, that quick fix.
There are so many supplements available it is difficult to know which supplements actually work and which ones may be potentially harmful. Read the label before taking any over the counter weight supplement.
Weight Loss Supplements To Avoid
There are a variety of over the counter weight loss supplements available at your local supermarket, drug store, and health food store to choose from. It can be quite overwhelming. All claim to work, but studies show otherwise or prove inconclusive. All of them may have side effects. Here are a few examples:
- Bitter Orange - similar to ephedra, which raises your blood pressure and heart rate. It claims to increase calories burned but is found most likely ineffective.
- Green tea extract –claims to decrease your appetite and increase metabolism. These claims have insufficient proof of evidence.
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – claims to reduce body fat. Studies indicate the supplement may or may not be effective.
- Hooda – claims to block the absorption of fat consumed and make one feel full. These claims, like those of green tea extract, have insufficient proof of evidence.
- Chromium – claims to decrease the appetite and increase calories burned. There is no evidence of proof and most likely ineffective.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate weight loss supplements. Therefore, they do not have the restrictions put upon them as other over the counter drugs and vitamins. There is however, one over the counter weight loss supplement that has been approved by the FDA: Alli.
Alli is available without a prescription and is found at the same places other weight loss supplements are available.
Alli is the same as Xenical, a prescription drug for weight loss but is half the strength. It is a fat blocker. It’s recommended to be used with a low-calorie, low-fat diet, not exceeding more than 30% of fat in your daily diet. Normal side effects may be: oily stools, loose stools, increased bowel movements, nausea, vomiting, gas, and oily discharge. Side effects will usually subside or at least lessen with continued us. Read the label/instructions for all possible side effects.
Take as Directed
It is important to take any and all supplements as directed. If you have questions ask your pharmacist. Taking any supplement is at your own risk. Many of the weight loss supplements contain forms of caffeine and excess consumption of soda, tea, and/or coffee can produce serious side effects. These products need to be taken as directed.
There is no magic pill. Losing weight takes time and effort. Even when taking a supplement eat nutritious balanced meals and exercise. And if you are interested in helping convey useful information about prescriptions and supplements to consumers, you may be find a good career fit as a pharmacy technician.
Cathy West is a native Californian, domestic diva and a physical fitness enthusiast. Be sure to ask someone with pharmacy technician training for advice on any supplements you are considering.