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Weight Loss Pill - Do They Really Work?

Oct 16, 2007
Several over the counter weight loss pills and drugs are being made available with claims to help in losing weight fast. The appeal of these drugs may be rather difficult to pass up, but will these weight loss products really help you lose weight? And more importantly, are they safe to use?

Weight loss pills may be categorized into two classes: the appetite suppressants and the fat blockers. Appetite suppressants help regulate your appetite by affecting a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. Two chemicals that create a feeling of fullness, namely Seratonin and Norepinephrine, are kept at high levels in your brain. Some well known examples of appetite suppressants are Meridia, Adipex-P, Fastin, Tenuate, and Phentermine. Fat blockers on the other hand inhibit the enzyme known as Lipase. Lipase breaks down and processes fat as it enters the body. By inhibiting Lipase, fat is allowed to simply pass straight through your body. A popular example of a fat blocking weight loss pill is Xenical.

At present, pharmaceutical companies are also looking to develop a different kind of weight loss pill. One of the new and promising areas being looked into is the body's hormones. Some of the new products copy the effects of hormones that tell the body that it is full. Another new weight loss pill blocks the hormone that increases the appetite.

As with all drugs and medication, weight loss pills have disadvantages and may cause some side effects. Most fat blocking weight loss diet pills cause cramping and diarrhea while appetite suppressants can increase your blood pressure. Weight loss pills are also not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA - these pills and supplements are not subjected to the strict standards set for prescription drugs and other medications. Diet pills can therefore be marketed with very limited proof of safety and effectiveness, health claims regarding these pills may be made without the authorization of the FDA; however, the FDA can pull any product off the market if they prove it to be dangerous. This lack of strict regulation can be a great disadvantage to people who want to use weight loss pills - you may not even be sure of the ingredients in the pills.

To keep yourself safe, use your curiosity to your advantage - read as much as you can about the diet pill. Ask questions and consult your physician before using any of those pills as some ingredients may not work well with some types of medication.
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