The conventional way to tackle obesity and body weight problems is to exercise and eat less. However, there are other easier ways that promise better and faster results. The most popular being the diet pills. Dr Oz reviewed the pros and cons of diet pills in his recent show and also discussed the criteria to choose the right kind of pills that could be the most beneficial for a certain kind of dieters. He mentioned that there happens to be a staggering twenty nine thousand diet drugs on the market, both prescription and over the counter, each promising weight loss reliably and effectively. However, these pills mostly work through mainly three different ways, some being appetite suppressors, others prevent fat absorption in the body and some others are dubbed as ‘thermogenic’ owing to their ability to speed up metabolism thereby burning more calories.
In order to obtain the best results, one needs to choose the right pill that addresses his/her problem areas in a specific way. Marissa, in the audience, mentioned that she took diet pills in the past for about 2-3 months and was being able to see her desired results within that time frame, after which, she discontinued. The efficacy of the diet drugs or supplements being proven beyond doubt, the question is, which diet pill is the right one to choose from so many?
Dr Oz had invited Dr Gretchen Phillips, MD on the show who is a family physician and took the audience on a tour of the many different categories of diet pills available. She also mentioned that diet pills are a very efficient way to jump-start the weight loss program or get that extra boost if we have hit the plateau when results are not showing up no matter how strictly the regimen is followed. The key here would be to pick the right pill. However, in order to do that we need to look at what we are eating and be honest about the cravings and food preferences. If a diet pill is not working, it could be that we are not addressing the right problem. She explained how each kind of pill work and who should be the target users of that kind.
America’s Most Popular Diet Pills
1. Fat Blockers
The first kind is the ‘fat blocker’ category. People who love high calorie, high fat foods are likely to get the most benefits from these kind of pills. Examples of some major fat blockers are FBCx, that comes in a supplement form, and Alli, that is available over the counter. These are prescription medications that work by binding fat and preventing it from getting absorbed through the intestine. Fat does not get absorbed until it is digested in the intestine where it is emulsified by bile juices and worked upon by enzymes called lipases. These medications work right there binding to the digested as well as undigested fat and creating huge multi-molecular complexes that won’t pass through the intestinal wall to get absorbed into the blood. These fat complexes are eliminated through faeces. Thus, the more fat a person consumes, the more fat is going to be eliminated from the system through defecation. This can also deter the consumption of high fat foods to avoid the obvious discomfort of ‘leaky’ bowel situations at wrong times. Continuous use for more than 3 months is not recommended since, it can interfere with absorption and metabolism of certain essential fat-soluble vitamins.
2. Appetite Suppressors
‘Appetite suppressors’ is the second category of diet pills. These kind of pills work best with people who are always hungry. Hunger is a sensation that actually originates in the brain. Dr Phillips talked about effective new prescription medications that are going to be available soon and are being evaluated by FDA currently. Belviq, Qsymia and Orixigen being some of the major ones. They all work by altering brain chemicals to induce the feeling of fullness thereby preventing hunger. However, care should be taken when using them and should be always under the supervision of a physician. The drugs actually work by elevating serotonin levels in the brain. Thus, people who have experienced seizure disorders, depression or have undergone psychiatric treatments should particularly be aware and consult their physician to find out if that drug would be safe for them. The time period, that one should be using these pills, should not exceed 3 months in order to see if this is the right way to go.
3. Metabolism Boosters
The last category is the ‘metabolism boosters’ or ‘thermogenics’. These kind of pills work by increasing the body heat thereby burning more calories. The chemical principles in them creates these effects and also the accessory effects that Dr Phillips warns about. Along with body temperature, obvious related effects include increased blood pressure and increased heart rate. Therefore, for patients with heart disease, blood pressure problems like hypertension etc. and seizure disorders, these pills could be terribly dangerous. Powerful examples of this category could be Bitter orange and Ma Huang. These are also dubbed as caffeine pills and Dr Oz advises to exercise caution when choosing these pills.
Finally, while concluding the show, he advised to choose the right pills wisely, after consulting the side effects with family physicians and for the last category, he said that it would probably be safe to boost the metabolism gently with help from foods or spices or coffee instead of the thermogenics unless they are absolutely required and are prescribed by a physician.