Obesity is a modern age disorder that the world is battling with. More than two-thirds of adults and almost one- third of children and adolescents are estimated to be overweight. Health experts agree that making lifestyle including following a healthy eating pattern, regular exercise and reducing calorie intake are ideal for achieving long term weight loss. Making lifestyle changes can be hard and it needs strong will power to achieve the goal on a long term, many people turn to dietary supplements that give purported weight loss claims.
The dietary supplements promoted for weight loss constitutes a wide range of products and come in variety of products such as capsules,tablets,liquids,powders and bars. They work in one or more of the following mechanisms:
- Reduce appetite: In this mechanism the supplements create a full feeling, so that you eat fewer calories.
- Some reduce the absorption of nutrients like fat and thus reducing the calorie intake.
- Increase in fat burning which makes you burn more calories.
The common ingredients include botanicals such as herbs and other plant components, dietary fibre, and minerals. The manufacturing companies give purported weight loss claims of guaranteed weight loss. The U.S Government Accountability Office concluded that “little is known about whether weight loss supplements are effective, but some supplements have been associated with the potential for physical harm”. Many weight-loss supplements are costly, and some of these products’ ingredients can interact or interfere with certain medications.
The FDA regulates weight-loss supplements differently from the prescription and over the counter drugs. The FDA does not test or approve the weight- loss supplements. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure that their supplements are safe and the claims are truthful and not misleading.
The weight loss supplements contain multiple ingredients, making it difficult to isolate the side effects of each ingredient and predict the effects of the combination. These can have harmful side effects and might interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Some of the side effects of these dietary supplements include pulmonary hypertension, valve disease of the heart, elevated blood pressure, increased pulse and heart rate, insomnia, oily stools. It is always advisable to consult your health care provider before considering taking the weight-loss supplements.
The market is being flooded with weigh loss pills that claim to reduce fat in a very short time and have given tempting yet fraudulent claims such as “magic pill”, “melt away fat”. These products may not help to lose weight and could be dangerous. The product marketed sometimes might be adulterated with prescription drugs or controlled substances that will not be included on the labels.
The weight-loss supplements are expensive and have no guarantee that they will help you achieve the goal. The best way to lose weight is by following a healthy diet; reduce calorie intake and regular exercise under the guidance of a certified health care provider. Changes in your life style to a healthier way would not only help in reduce weight but also improves your stamina, elevated mood and also reduces the risk of heart diseases and some types of cancers.