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Do Diet Pills Do More Bad Than Good?

Apr 7, 2008
When it comes to dieting, there are many different approaches. Some people follow an exercise regiment first. Then they add healthy eating. Others follow fad diets. The Atkins diet is one example. This plan requires dieters to stop eating carbohydrates. This includes potatoes and rice. But they can eat all the fatty meats they want. Such gorging on one type of food seems counterproductive to losing weight. There are still many medical professionals who persecute these fad diets because of that. Diet pills, which tout quick weight loss with no work, are also being attacked by doctors. Do they work? Many believe they do more bad than good.

There are many different kinds of pills intended to help people lose weight. Before even considering a diet pill, though, find out if it might react with your prescription medication. Metabolism boosters are one type of diet pill. They help speed metabolism up to increase the burning of calories. One example is Ephedra. At one point, this was a very popular diet drug. It suppressed a person's appetite and gave them an energy boost at the same time. But in December 2003, it was banned by the FDA. People were overdosing on the pills. Some deaths occurred. After this happened, pill companies stopped using Ephedra. Instead, they used compounds with similar structure and properties. They were supposed to be safer, but have some of the same side effects.

Hoodia Gordonii is relatively new on the dieting scene, but already it has made a splash. It's a plant indigenous to Southern Africa. Africans used it for infections and indigestion. They also used it to suppress the appetite on long hunting trips. It is this principle that makes Hoodia a great diet drug. But the judgment is still out as to whether it really works. It is considered much safer than other over-the-counter drugs. But if you don't get the pure product, you may be taking a risk. Some manufacturers will mix stimulants in with the plant. This can make a difference in safety. And since the plant has not been approved by the FDA anyway, any added danger is not worth it.

CortiSlim is a diet pill that works to control the levels of Cortisol in the body. With the stress that we are all under, Cortisol runs rampant. It is this hormone that prods the body to store fat. CortiSlim works to block Cortisol from forming. Whether these diet pills work or not is debatable. There have been no studies on its effectiveness. The FTC actually charged the company with making false claims about how well it really works.

There are many other diet pills in popular use. Each promises to be the end-all to dieting. Doctors have begun to combat the problems of unsafe dieting drugs by prescribing them to their patients. Meridia is one example of a prescription diet drug. It has been approved by the FDA, unlike many other types of dieting pills. However, you must really need for the doctor to prescribe it. Your BMI has to be 30 or more, or 27+ with other obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol.
About the Author
Jason Hulott is Director at UK Diets Online, a service that provides information about all the major UK diets systems available, healthy eating and diet information. Visit now and take advantage of our special deals with Weightwatchers
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