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15th of October, 2001 — Anyone who has sat in front of the television after midnight has heard the allegations. This little pill allows you to eat whatever you want and not exercise at all while still losing weight.
Vontimiuo reading to find out all you need to know about, how weight loss pills work?
Unfortunately, scientific research has not substantiated such assertions to date. These products are classified as dietary supplements rather than as pharmaceuticals. According to current FDA regulations, this means that no one is required to demonstrate that they are effective.
Dr. Steven Heymsfield of WebMD explains that “the number and quality of good, randomized, double-blind [studies] that really explore the question of efficacy for these herbal products and dietary supplements are very limited for these products and supplements.” This holds true for almost the entire category of [weight loss] products, says the expert.
Heymsfield is a professor of medicine at Columbia University in New York City, as well as the deputy director of the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. He claims there is no scientific evidence that the pills are effective — but what is the general consensus?
In the opinion of personal trainer Todd Person, owner of Metabolic Project, a personal training facility in Los Angeles, when used in conjunction with diet and exercise, they can help people achieve their fitness goals faster.
In their poor physical condition when he decided to begin training for a triathlon, Matthew Martin, 31, of Chicago, Illinois, set a goal of completing the event. After doing a little research on the Internet, he selected the fat burners that he believed would be most effective for his situation. He used them for approximately three months and found them to be beneficial.
“I didn’t take any tests… ” “I simply used them, and they appeared to assist me in not wanting to eat as much,” he explains. ”
1 Fat Trappers
Chitosan is a substance that is commonly found in fat-trapping products. Shellfish such as shrimp, crabs, and other shellfish are used to make this substance. According to some sources, it binds to fat in the food you eat, preventing it from being broken down. It appears to help prevent the absorption of dietary fat, but the effects may be too small for you to notice any difference. A small number of studies have found that people on calorie-restricted diets who take chitosan lose slightly more weight than those who do not.
Jana Klauer, MD, is also a research fellow at the New York Obesity Research Center, where she works alongside Dr. Klauer. In her opinion, the substance chitosan is simply a source of fiber. While a high-fiber diet is beneficial for weight loss, there are many less expensive options available.
Chitosan poses a risk to your health because it may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, vitamin D, and the disease-fighting phytochemicals found in many fruits and vegetables are examples of such nutrients. This product, regardless of what the manufacturers claim, is probably not recommended for use for more than about three months at a time, at the very most.
2 Fat Burners
In general, fat burners contain some combination of herb-derived stimulants, essential fatty acids, chromium picolinate, pyruvate, and/or hydroxycitric acid, among other ingredients.
Caffeine and ephedrine, as well as the herbs guarana and ma huang, are examples of stimulants derived from plants. Two or three of these stimulants are usually stacked together in a single weight loss product, and they are frequently combined with other ingredients such as aspirin or willow bark. In theory, they should provide more energy while also increasing fat burning. The majority of experts agree that they are effective when used in conjunction with exercise. Their safety, on the other hand, is a different story.
In the words of Heymsfield, “Ephedra [derived from ma huang] is effective…, particularly when combined with aspirin and other ingredients.” “The downside is that it raises blood pressure and can result in fatal heart attacks, [heart] arrhythmias, and strokes. When it comes to safety, the advertisements for Ma Huang are extremely deceptive.”
Last year, Klauer and colleagues investigated the potential weight loss benefits of ephedra. “”People did lose more weight as a result of taking it,” she explains, “but their blood pressure levels remained elevated even after they stopped taking the drug.” As a result, I strongly advise against using ephedra.”
In the opinion of Klauer, both ephedra and caffeine work by increasing your resting metabolic rate, which can be accomplished more safely and inexpensively by simply increasing your physical activity and reducing your food intake.
Although he has a family history of heart disease, would-be triathlete Matthew Martin has chosen a combination of caffeine and ephedrine as the basis of his fat-burning regimen. He did notice that his heart rate increased after taking the pill, but he didn’t think it was a big deal. He discovered that taking the pills gave him enough energy to make him want to work out more and achieve his fitness goals sooner rather than later. Although he is still in good shape a month after completing the program, he has stepped up his triathlon preparations to the next level.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and flaxseed oil are two examples of essential fatty acids. To increase muscle mass and burn fat, they are sometimes used in conjunction with garlic. They appear to be beneficial in animals, and some recent research indicates that they may be beneficial in humans as well.
CLA has been researched by Michael W. Pariza, Ph.D., director of the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Pariza has published several papers on the subject. “There is certainly emerging clinical evidence that it can be beneficial, particularly in controlling fat and weight gain,” he says in an interview with WebMD. According to the researchers, “we also have pretty good evidence that it alleviates a lot of the negative effects [such as dizziness and stomach problems] that people experience when dieting.”
The International Journal of Obesity published a new study on conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in its August 2001 issue. In the study, a Swedish group of experts demonstrated that overweight men who took CLA lost more fat than those who did not take the supplement.
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Pariza, on the other hand, cautions that not all CLA supplements are of high quality. It is his recommendation that consumers look for supplements that contain one of two branded types of CLA, which are called Conalin and Clarinol.
A few years ago, chromium picolinate and pyruvate were extremely popular supplements. Neither has fared well under scientific scrutiny to date. “There was a chromium study that demonstrated that it had absolutely no effect on weight loss,” says Klauer.
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a type of citric acid that has been modified. It is derived from a fruit known as the Malabar tamarind, which grows in Southeast Asia and India.
Debasis Bagchi, Ph.D., CNS, is an adjunct professor of toxicology at Creighton University School of Pharmacy in Omaha, Nebraska, and a member of the American Chemical Society. InterHealth Nutraceuticals, which manufactures the fat burner CitriMax, which contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), employs him as vice president of research and development. Bagchi claims that HCA stimulates the breakdown of fat, despite the fact that studies on this product have produced conflicting and not particularly encouraging findings. He and Person also claim that it aids in the suppression of appetite.
In a study funded by a commercial manufacturer, Heymsfield and colleagues investigated the effects of HCA. They were unable to detect any effect of the product when they used commercially available HCA products. HCA manufacturers claim that the researchers did not use the proper forms of HCA, but Heymsfield is not persuaded by their arguments.
3 The Bottom Line
Fat trappers and fat burners are prohibitively expensive products. The majority of regimens range in price from about $50 to several hundred dollars per month. It’s possible that what you get in return isn’t worth the money. However, while there is some limited evidence that a few of these products have a minor effect, none of them is a magic bullet that will allow you to lose weight while you sit in front of the television munching on chips.
Even the experts who are enthusiastic about these products agree that they must be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise in order to be effective. If you have the determination to stick to a diet and exercise routine and have a little extra cash to spare, you should consider trying one of the safer of these products to see if it will help you get in better shape more quickly. For those who aren’t planning on sticking to a diet and exercise regimen, it may be more prudent to divert your funds elsewhere.
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In the end, “it all boils down to maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced, low-fat diet rich in complex carbohydrates and engaging in daily aerobic exercise,” says Klauer.
What a pleasant surprise.