It seems like there’s a new diet pill being pushed every day, and when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s pretty tempting to pay a few dollars for any chance to accelerate your weight loss. I mean, really, doesn’t everyone who needs to lose weight want to get it over with as soon as possible? The problem is that often diet pills are not as safe or effective as they claim, and you may not only be wasting your money, but you may be jeopardizing your health as well.
For instance, ephedra was used in many weight loss supplements until the Food and Drug Administration banned it. Prior to the ban, however, those using it experienced racing heart rates, panic episodes, the shakes, excessive sweating, and it was found to induce heart attacks. Even those who thought they were healthy suddenly found themselves suffering from its side effects. Other side effects from supplements with stimulants (even excessive caffeine) can include permanent problems related to heart valves and organ damage from losing weight too quickly and lack of proper nutrition.
Some of the most popular supplements out there aren’t even regulated by the FDA, and have very little research behind them. Take garcinia cambogia, for instance, what little research there is regarding the topic doesn’t definitively establish the efficacy of the product. Even worse, a study that used the product on mice showed that it contributed to testicular atrophy. Even if you don’t have testicles, it makes you wonder what other side effects they just haven’t discovered yet.
Other examples of popular supplements readily available over the counter include:
- Alli – this is an OTC version of orlistat, a prescription weight loss drug that blocks the absorption of fat. Side effects include hard to control bowel movements and loose stools. It works fairly well, but may also cause liver damage.
- Hoodia – said to decrease appetite, but there is no significant evidence to prove it is actually effective. There are also no distinctive studies that show side effects.
- Green Tea Extract – This is another popular ingredient in weight loss supplements, not to mention being sold on its own as an individual supplement, however, its claims of reducing appetite and speeding up metabolism to the degree that it will make a huge difference is not necessarily worth the potential side effects. No sufficient research exists to prove it works as claimed, and side effects include insomnia, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and the tendency to become agitated more easily.
- Bitter Orange – this is supposed to increase the number of calories you burn and is similar to ingesting ephedra in that it can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. However, the difference in the number of calories burned is likely insignificant, and yet you still get an increased health risk.
There is no miracle pill when it comes to losing weight, and if you are trying to speed up your metabolism with a pill, what do you think will happen when you stop taking them? Even if you do happen to see results, any drastic changes will only decrease your metabolism – at which point you will likely begin to gain the weight back. Whatever you do to your body to help move along your weight loss, it is going to have an effect on your overall health.
© depositphotos.com/yellow2j, © depositphotos.com/chepko