Each year, over 50 million Americans are on some type of diet, with only 5 percent maintaining their weight loss. Frustrated and impatient, many dieters experiment with fat burning pills, based on their advertised claims. A wide variety of weight-loss supplements are available, but many have little effect, and some may even pose health risks. Many diet pills, despite their unproven history, continue to make up a large share of the supplement market.
Stimulants are the primary ingredient of many fat burning pills, such as caffeine, bitter orange, and guarana. Other ingredients are said to inhibit fat absorption in the body, such as guar gum, conjugated linoleic acid, and chitosan. Yohimbe, an alkaloid extracted from the bark of a West African tree, is said to accelerate fat loss during exercise by increasing lypolysis. Common appetite suppressants in these pills include hoodia, green tea extract, and chromium. Prescription weight-loss pills occasionally have similar ingredients to the non-prescription products, albeit in different strengths. These prescriptions are normally reserved for short-term use in severe obesity cases that are supervised by a doctor.
Fat burning pills have received much best fat burning pills that actually work for men weight loss attention in recent years, with many users giving various statements as to how well they work. According to the FDA, the effectiveness of some of these substances varies from “possibly effective” (conjugated linoleic acid and guar gum) to “not enough evidence” (hoodia, green tea extract, chitosan, and chromium). Alli, an over-the-counter version of the prescription Xenical (orlistat), is reported to be effective in decreasing fat absorption, although its results are typically less than Xenical. Ultimately, most of the stated results are based on individual testimonies, as no clinical studies have produced a definitive answer.
Because their ingredients are dietary supplements, weight-loss pills are not regulated by the FDA, although they are monitored once marketed. While chromium and guar gum are likely safe, for example, there is insufficient information on hoodia, and bitter orange is possibly unsafe, according to the FDA. Besides their addictive qualities, the stimulants in diet pills can lead to serious side effects such as heart palpitations, hypertension, and insomnia, while fat-blocking ingredients can interfere with vitamin absorption and cause diarrhea or gastrointestinal problems. The stimulant ephedrine, found in the ephedra and country mallow plants, was deemed unsafe by the FDA and banned in 2004 after being linked to a number of deaths, while Alli is currently being investigated for reports of possible liver damage.