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Are Slimming Pills Really Effective?

Author: Cindy Kelvin | September 25th, 2018

In the modern times, obesity is regarded as one of the most common health concerns. Scientific evidence has proven that it is related to many serious ailments such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases etc. To combat obesity and its associated problems, weight loss is always the best option and there are many ways for it, such as the workouts, proper and portioned diet plans, intake of weight loss supplements etc. The main question, however, is the effectiveness of weight loss pills, how do they work and are these products really helpful for weight loss.

It is very hard to resist the appeal of losing the body weight quickly; most of the people are of the view that these weight loss pills only lighten your wallet. Their safety and efficacy are always under debate.

Realistic expectations:

For losing the body weight there is no magic bullet. The intake of a low-calorie diet is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. The other way is to be active physically and regular exercise. On the other hand, the use of weight loss pills, prescription and non-prescription drugs, natural or herbal supplements, synthetic supplements etc are regarded as efficient ways to lose body weight. Though a lot of scopes is left behind for investigation regarding the effectiveness of these products and their safety but the prescription drugs are regarded as better drugs for weight loss. Research workers have proven that these medicines work efficiently when people make appropriate changes in his lifestyle. The intake of a low-calorie diet and workouts along with these prescription drugs are meaningful ways to lose body weight during the minimum time period.

Weight loss which is clinically meaningful means that a person has lost plenty of weight and is generally free from health risks such as cardiovascular diseases. A weight loss which is five percent or more is said to be clinically meaningful weight loss. Before using such medications, it is always important to consider their safety and potential side effects.

Over the counter weight loss treatment:

When over the counter treatment for weight loss is used, there are generally two main categories of it:

  • Non-prescription drugs

  • Dietary supplements

For the nonprescription drugs such as Alli, it is essential for the drug company to provide FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which is the outcome of all clinical trials showing the drug is safe and effective to be used.

On the other hand, the dietary supplement manufacturers are responsible to ensure that their product is safe and effective; they need to make honest claims regarding the potential advantages of their products. The claims of manufacturers are however subjected t the reviews of FDA before even marketing the products. There is also a great variation in the support to claims depending on the type and quality of the investigation.

In any case, where FDA shows the product is not safe, it is made obligatory for the agency to ban the manufacture of this product. FDA can also ask the manufacturers to withdraw the product voluntarily.

Weight loss supplements and their claims:

When proven clinically the dietary supplements are marketed with the claim to lose weight. Clinical evidence is essential to support this claim. On the other hand, the clinical research details are not provided. The following information is included in the results:

  1. The trial of eight weeks is used for the supplements comprising of multiple ingredients such as caffeine, raspberry ketones, extracts of ginger and garlic root, bitter orange and other herbs.
  2. The obese persons (70) were assigned randomly to get either the supplement or inactive ingredient.
  3. The participants of the research were also given special and limited diet along with regular workouts.
  4. This eight-week trial was completed by forty people.
  5. The average weight loss was tested and it was 4.2 pounds or 1.9 Kg among the people who successfully completed the trial.
  6. In the placebo group, the average weight loss was only 0.4 kg.

The weight loss was seen to be modest in the treatment group and only eight weeks trial was given which was not much to know the efficacy of weight loss supplement in a long haul. Also, the supplements which were included contained many active ingredients which make it tough to find out the actual ingredient which has resulted in the loss of weight.

Safety concerns associated:

When the research made is limited, one cannot judge how effective and safe is the weight loss supplement. A product cannot be labelled safe only on the basis of being natural; some dietary supplements have disastrous effects on the liver and kidneys. In past, the commonly used weight loss supplements such as ma-huang and ephedra which are herbal stimulants are now banned by FDA since they were seen to produce some adverse effects in the body such as frequent mood swings, hypertension, heart problems such as stroke, irregularity of heartbeat and cardiac arrest.

Another herbal stimulant which is added in some weight loss supplements is bitter orange which is considered as a substitute for ephedra. Its chemical properties are almost the same as that of ephedra and hence it is also considered to be the cause of similar adverse reactions. Therefore the safety of such natural herbal ingredients has not been understood well due to the limitations of research.

Investigate before you purchase:

Before making any decision regarding the use of over the counter pills for weight loss, it is always important for you to check out the reviews and other active ingredients in the pills. The reviews will give you the best idea regarding the product’s safety and efficacy.

Consult your health care provider:

If you are seriously considering to start weight loss supplements, make it sure that you consult your medical specialist especially if you have a history of high blood pressure and heart diseases. Pregnant females and breastfeeding mothers are not supposed to use such medicines as they can cause adverse reactions. You can also consult a dietician for a proper diet plan for effective weight loss.