Do fat-busting diet pills work? Or are they too good to be true?
Every so often, a major pharmaceutical company launches a new diet pill which claims to increase weight loss by burning fat. Some of these are available over the counter, so more accessible but generally less strong than their prescription counterparts.
1. In general, these work by inhibiting the digestion of fat - so rather than your body absorbing the fat, it is excreted out of your body.
2. Because fat is not being absorbed by your body, this creates a knock-on effect. It means fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids which are important for smooth skin, hormonal, mental and cardiovascular health are also not being absorbed.
3. Some such diet pills such as alli has a few side effects. These are gastrointestinal in nature and include: sudden bowel movements, wind or flatulence with oily spotting, fecal urgency, fecal incontinence and rectal bleeding. The company that produce alli actually recommend that you wear dark clothes and reduce fat in your diet to minimise unpleasant consequences! Another side effect is anxiety although this may be due to worry about the fecal issues and wouldn’t you be worried?
4. Weight loss seems fairly minimal - The Lancet reported that over 12 months people lost 8.5 pounds more than the placebo group.
Leading nutritionist Patrick Holford wrote about alli (2009), 'this drug is a step backwards because the primary driver of obesity is high carb and sugar diets, not fat.'
There are supplements on the market which you can take to help reduce weight and to manage it but always be aware of those that claim to remove fat from somewhere in the body as they do not discriminate between the good, essential fats and the bad ones.
Some quality vitamin companies do a range of weight management supplements which all have a positive effect on health and do not exclude essential ingredients for the body.
CLA maintains the immune function, lowers body fat and increases lean body mass. Derived from vegetable oils.
CHROMIUM (organic glucose tolerance factor) helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Chromium is essential for normal breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein. Also maintains healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy heart.
HCA inhibits conversion of excess glucose to fat, increases the rate at which cells burn fat for energy.