Weight gain is a common problem these days, thanks to our sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food habits. Excessive weight gain can also give rise to many health conditions, mainly associated with the heart and liver. However, obesity cannot always be attributed to an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise. Sometimes, it can also be caused by the fluctuation of hormones and another malfunctioning of body tissues or glands. Genetics might also play a major role in weight gain. While it is important to figure out the cause, it is equally vital to be aware of the consequences of obesity and seek medical help.
Weight loss pills are becoming greatly popular due to their claimed ability to reduce body fat within weeks. Several diet pills, drinks, and supplements have also found their way into many of our lives, but how well do we know them? Are they effective? Do they leave any side effects on the body? These are some basic questions one should ask themselves before proceeding with any form of weight loss medication. Several weight loss tablets cause undesired side effects to the body, which can trigger many other health conditions which can be lifelong.
Weight Loss Pills – What Are They Composed Of?
Weight-loss pills and supplements are composed of several different kinds of ingredients. However, the amount and accuracy of the research done and the information collected are often debatable. Often, the data is collected from science labs or from trials on animals rather than conducting tests on humans themselves. Sometimes, the information obtained regarding a particular ingredient is insufficient and lacks proper study. Hence, more research and study are essential in determining whether an ingredient is beneficial or could pose any serious threats to the body.
A few common ingredients that can be found in most weight loss medication supplements are beta-glucans, caffeine, calcium, chitosan, carnitine, chromium, guar gum, and hydroxycitric acid. Some of these have slight to no side effects, such as beta-glucans, caffeine, and calcium, while the rest produce undesirable effects. Carnitine causes nausea, vomiting, and cramps. Reported effects of chitosan include flatulence and heartburn. Hydroxycitric acid can be responsible for headaches, liver damage, and several respiratory conditions. Guar gum can cause cramps, nausea, and abdominal pain. Chromium is a harmful ingredient that can cause nausea and diarrhea. Let’s look at some of the most popular weight loss medication options and their benefits and side effects.
1. Glucomannan – This is a fiber supplement that cuts down food intake by increasing water absorption in the gut. This makes a person feel full, and they don’t feel like eating anything. It is highly debatable whether this supplement has many benefits. Still, a study conducted a few years ago showed that Glucomannan caused weight loss in several adults dealing with weight gain issues. However, a recent study has nullified this observation. Reported side effects of Glucomannan are diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain.
2. Garcinia extract – Garcinia cambogia is a hydroxy citric acid-containing fruit. The extract is composed of juices obtained from the fruit and is also available as weight loss tablets. It inhibited the secretion of a fat-producing enzyme called citric acid lyase. Its benefits have not been conclusively proven yet. However, despite its little benefit in burning fats, the extract doesn’t cause any serious side effects when consumed in limited quantities.
3. Conjugated linoleic acid – This is a type of fatty acid mostly found in dairy products and beef. It is deemed as one of the best weight loss pills as it is capable of boosting metabolic processes inside our body and decreasing appetite significantly. However, a major drawback is that all tests and studies on the effects of acid have been conducted on animals. The acid’s ability to reduce fats in humans is very limited. Up to 6 grams of daily intake of conjugated linoleic acid for not more than 12 months is considered safe. Side effects include diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and constipation. People suffering from diabetes should avoid using it.
4. Hydroxycut – Hydroxycut is a well-known dietary supplement and comes in a variety of products containing different ingredients. It is made from caffeine and extracts of plants, but there are also a few versions of the product that do not contain caffeine. It is just a supplement and hence, does not undergo the series of tests and other studies conducted on several other weight loss pills. No particular study or report confirms these diet pills as an effective solution to weight gain. As a variety of ingredients are used in varying quantities, the side effects are difficult to predict. However, the caffeine-containing Hydroxycut products can cause anxiety and increase the heart rate.
5. Orlistat – This is another very popular weight loss pill. It is recommended by many doctors and aims to cause weight loss by preventing the absorption of fats consumed by a person. As the absorption rate of the intestines decreases, chances of weight gain are minimized to some extent. The weight loss caused by these pills may not be too significant. This has been proved by several studies. Only around 3% of people taking the drug have shown signs of weight loss. The drug is marketed popularly by the brand Alli. Orlistat can affect bowel movements and cause stomach aches and diarrhea.
To conclude, weight loss pills are not exactly as effective as we are made to think. The use of different ingredients, some of which could be really dangerous, is a major reason to avoid them. If you still wish to stick to these pills, make sure to consult your doctor and be aware of the symptoms and side effects they might cause. Doing regular exercise and maintaining a balanced diet are the best ways to get in shape and come with absolutely no side effects.