We’d like to start with the conclusion to save your time and money: If it’s too good to be true, then it is definitely too good to be true. Many people wish that shedding extra pounds could be as easy as popping a pill. This means they don’t have to exercise and eat healthy. Some even use pills to supplement an otherwise healthy lifestyle to boost results. However, is this a smart decision? Our health experts give it a big thumb’s down. Despite the well-known risks associated with weight loss supplements, the demand for these products are continually rising, especially among those with eating disorders. In fact, according to Eating Behaviours, 50 percent of individuals with eating disorders use over-the-counter weight loss supplements, herbal supplements and even prescription drugs to lose weight.
WHAT IS A DIET PILL?
A diet pill or weight loss supplement is any product that can be taken orally and contains herbs, nutrients or other ingredients to add to your everyday diet.
Note that not all supplements are designed for weight loss. For example, supplements containing nutrients or compounds that are recommended for a healthy lifestyle, such as omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, herbs, amino acids, enzymes, organ products, glandular products or vitamins can increase the nutritional content of your day’s diet and amp your overall health.
Common red flags to look out for are words such as “weight loss”, “diet” or “quick weight loss” as they promise unrealistic results and may promote unhealthy behaviour. Just because a weight loss supplement is sold in a fancy packaging or local drugstore, does not mean it is safe to consume.
What most people are not aware of is that most products marketed as weight loss supplements are not regulated by the FDA, unless they contain a new ingredient.
The Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994 states that it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that the supplement is safe. Now, we are quite aware that most people aren’t masters of their words. Numerous manufacturers have been making false claims and promises about their products, producing their own pills under risky circumstances and adding pharmaceutical ingredients to products.
HOW DO DIETS PILLS WORK?
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to weight loss supplements. Most weight loss pill companies provide claims for their ingredients such as:
1. Appetite suppression
2. Increased metabolism
3. Increasing feeling of fullness so you eat less
4. Slowing down fat production
5. Preventing fat absorption from the foods you eat
Do any of these sound familiar?
Unfortunately, studies show that even if these pills do increase your weight loss potential, the long-term risks associated with them will prevent you from picking up a pill again. Keep reading to find out what these risks are.
Why are weight loss supplements harmful to human health?
Note that some diet supplements may be harmless and could even be effective at increasing your satiation. However, several popular ingredients seen in popular weight loss products have been banned by the FDA due to detrimental side effects like:
a) Kidney problems
b) Liver damage
d) Behavioural problems
f) Increase in heart rate
g) Heart palpitations
h) High blood pressure
j) Rectal bleeding
k) Vomiting and nausea and many more
It’s important for each consumer to research each product thoroughly and measure the risks vs. benefits before purchasing. Be sure to speak with your doctor before trying any supplement, especially if you have any existing health concerns or if you’re pregnant or nursing.
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