Have you been watching those diet pills commercials that assure you that you can eat anything and still be slim? They tell the world that just by taking a pill you can reduce your weight. According to them, diet pills reduce appetite, reduces absorption of nutrients and increase fat burning. Unfortunately, there is no scientific research to back these claims and since they are labelled as dietary supplements, the company has no obligation to show any scientific proof to sell them.
According to a study published in the Journal of Drug Testing and Analysis, it states that even prescribed weight loss pills and supplements do not work. A similar study was published by The Food and Drug Administration in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, which said that out of 21 supplements that were studied, eleven of them contain beta-methylphenylethylamine, or BMPEA, which is an isomer of amphetamine whose effect on humans cannot be studied. Even though the effects of BMPEA cannot be studied, amphetamine is well-known and has effects on blood pressure, sleep and heart. Since these pills are labelled as dietary supplements, no organisation can regulate the amount of BMPEA used.
Since these things are not advertised, it is important to reveal the truth about the diet pills.
It traps fat
Most of the diet pills are filled with Chitosan (a powder made from the shells of crabs, shrimps and other shellfish) which traps the fat in the food that is consumed. This prevents you from digesting the fat. Excluding fat from the system increases the risk of organ failure and hormonal imbalance. This might have an effect on weight, but at what cost? Even the impact on weight is minimised. It is just too small to notice or even consider as an effective way of losing weight.
Increases fat burning
They claim that they increase the speed of burning fat in the body. They do this by mixing a combination of drugs. These drugs have individual side-effects as well as when they are combined together. These diet pills usually contain aspirin, willow bark or ephedrine as the combining agent. According to a study in New York Obesity Research Centre, these combine diet pills can raise your blood pressure, arrhythmias and cause fatal heart attacks or strokes. The study stated that the weight loss benefits are overshadowed by heart issues and it is not recommended to use a diet pill.
Absorption of nutrients
It is said that diet pills reduce the speed of absorption of nutrients. Assuming that it is true, it is claimed to be done using hydroxycitric acid (a form of citric acid that is derived from Malabar tamarind fruit in southeast Asia). A study in Creighton University School of Pharmacy in Omaha said that it does help in suppressing appetite and stimulates the breakdown of fats. But critics have widely discredited this finding and claimed the results to be not so encouraging.
Even if all the claims of diet pills are true, they still cost around 4000 rupees. It is still a matter of cost and impact. With so much money invested, you should expect the returns to be more than satisfactory. Even if you are taking diet pills, you should know that it does not work magic. There is no harm in doing regular exercise and maintaining a healthy cautious diet.