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Beware of Diet Pills

Dangerous Dietetic Products

For many years people have purchased over the counter weight-loss pills in the hopes of shedding pounds of fat. The pills—while not expensive—are certainly cheaper than a visit to the doctor and much easier than embarking on a diet and exercise program designed for losing weight while maintaining health.

The Mayo Clinic has conducted research on weight-loss pills as well as other products promoted as effective in the battle against extra pounds.

Weight-loss pills are available in every venue imaginable. Online sources, pharmacies, grocery stores, health food and vitamin centers and the pills are also sold by the shady-looking character down on the street. Some pills are advertised as appetite suppressants while others make claims of speeding up the metabolism to burn calories and others actually claim to be nutritionally  

If you find yourself interested in trying weight loss pills there are several critical points to consider:

  1. Weight loss pills—even those manufactured by reputable companies— are not subject to rigorous standards when they are introduced into the marketplace. Indeed, some are not regulated at all and are produced in back-rooms from dangerous combinations of chemicals and ingredients. Additionally, there must be a well-publicized, continuing and dramatic problem with a weight-loss pill before it is investigated by the Food and Drug Administration. Even dangerous pills can remain on the market for many years.
  2. Your legitimate over-the-counter or prescription medicines may interact dangerously with some weight-loss pills. This is a very real concern for those who are dependent on their medications for their very life or the quality of it.
  3. When these pills are made by non-professionals for the purpose of turning a quick buck, they are usually made of ingredients that speed up the metabolism that may weaken the heart by disrupting its rhythm. Certainly, pills made by non-professionals are more likely to contain caffeine, laxatives, cheap vitamins or other dangerous substances.
  4. Ten popular pills were tested by the Mayo Clinic and only one was proven to be effective and the FDA is investigating it for reports of liver injury. Two others were deemed possibly effective and the others were judged to have insufficient data to make a decision. The other eight were deemed ineffective. Only five pills received a rating of possibly safe and of those only one was deemed possibly effective.

Make an appointment with your doctor or discuss it with the doctor on a regularly scheduled appointment before taking the pills. The doctor can advise you on side-effects and most importantly on possible negative interactions with other medications you are taking.