Friday, 19 August 2011

Diet Supplements - Do They Really Work?



Herbal supplements and diet pills provide effective aids in weight loss, however they do not equal the entire equation. Some just do not work and others have been known to have harmful side effects in some of their users. Nevertheless diet supplements can significantly help someone to lose a substantial amount of weight when coupled with a proper exercise plan and a nutritious diet.

When it comes to weight loss pills, there are basically three types that are commonly used. The three types available are prescription pills, over the counter weight loss pills, and herbal diet supplements.

Prescription weight loss pills are prescribed by a doctor or a trained and certified medical practitioner. Two of the most commonly prescribed diet supplements are Meridia and Xenical. These two top prescribed prescription drugs work by blocking the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, which creates a feeling of being full. Also these drugs work by blocking an enzyme called lipase. Blocking this enzyme removes a portion of the fat found in food and processes it through the digestive waste tract. Overall, prescription weight loss pills seem to offer very good results for their users.

In addition to prescription weight loss pills, over the counter pills have been found to be an effective option. Over the counter pills are available without a medical prescription, yet their use is not routinely monitored as is the case with prescription weight loss supplements. The main active ingredient in most over the counter weight loss pills is phenylpropanolamine or PPA. A drawback to these drugs has been noticed in studies by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, which has discovered that these drugs can increase the risk of a stroke in some patients. As a result of this, the Food and Drug Administration has urged manufacturers to find a new active ingredient.

When it comes to the herbal supplement weight loss pills, there are a few things that really need to be understood when using them. Herbal diet supplements can be obtained without a prescription and also like over the counter pills are not monitored by physicians. Even though many of these are labeled as "all natural," that does not mean that they are any safer than any other diet supplement. In fact, they may be more dangerous than government tested prescription or over the counter diet pills. An example of this can be seen in the use of ephedra (also called ma huang) in the 1990s, which was found to cause increased risk for heart attack in its users. Also some herbal supplements don't do anything at all and have little more of an effect than a placebo pill would. In addition to the fact that some herbal pills have no dietary benefit, there is the added danger that they may have unknown side effects because most government health agencies do not study herbal diet pills, nor do they regulate herbal supplements in any manner whatsoever.

In conclusion, prescription weight loss supplements offer the best option available to those seeking a medical aid to weight loss. A person using prescription weight loss pills as part of their exercise and diet plan runs fewer risks, because their use of the pills and their weight loss will be regularly monitored by a doctor or trained medical practitioner. In the end, anyone losing weight should seek to do so in as healthy a manner as possible and a physician can give them the greatest help in doing this.

Had a look around the net, check these out:

Sources
“Do Dietary Supplements Really Work?,” The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/do-dietary-supplements-really-work-513499.html

Stephanie Watson, “How Diet Pills Work,” Discovery Fit and Health
http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/medication/diet-pill1.htm

Kathleen M. Zelman, “The Truth Behind The Top 10 Dietary Supplements,” Web MD
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-behind-top-10-dietary-supplements