What do you think about Quick weight loss pills, Doc?
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia has become very famous all over the world after being featured on the Dr. Oz show in 2012. It is a tiny, green fruit shaped like a pumpkin and is marketed as a totally ‘natural weight loss supplement‘. The skin of the fruit contains a substance known as hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia that is claimed to help you in your quest towards losing weight.
Scientific evidence of the Effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia or HCA for weight loss?
Earlier studies seem to indicate little evidence for the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambodia. A 1998 research trial with 135 participants compared Garcinia cambogia against a dummy pill and concluded that:-
Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo.
One 2011 study carried out systematic reviews of 12 trials relating to the use of Garcinia Cambodia and weight loss and found that, on average, weight loss was around 0.88 kg (2 pounds). This is a far cry from the ‘… shed 22 pounds in 2 weeks‘ claims of some of the advertisers. This review did stress that a lot of the clinical trials were not rigorous or large enough for any true evaluations to be drawn about the use of HCA for weight loss. This study concluded that:-
“The meta-analysis revealed a small, statistically significant difference in weight loss favouring HCA over placebo … but the magnitude of the effect is small.”
There are no reported serious side effects so far linked to the use of Garcinia Cambodia extract as a weight-loss supplement. However there have been reports of digestive problems such as stomach upset and diarrhea. Other mild side effects include: dizziness, headache and dry mouth
So as we can see, the scientific results are mixed. Some claim that Garcinia Cambodia is only effective in animals and others that it may lead to (a minimal) weight loss. Compared to taking a healthy diet and exercise program, I would advise you to give Garcinia Cambodia a miss, save your money and go and buy some fresh fruit and veggies!
Raspberry Ketones: Weight Loss Pills
Yet again raspberry ketones became popular for quick weight loss after being promoted by Dr Oz as yet another fat loss ‘miracle in a bottle’ Raspberry ketones are the natural chemical compound found in raspberries and some other red berries too. Although there can be no denying the health benefits of consuming natural red berries, exaggerated and unfounded claims have been branded around for years regarding raspberry ketones diet pills.
Raspberry ketones have, in our opinion, being totally misrepresented by clever marketing. Most people believe that this is a natural fat loss supplement but by the time raspberry ketones arrive in a weight-loss pill it is totally synthetic.
A scientific study involving fat cells from rats have shown that raspberry ketones:-
- Improve the breakdown of fat in the cell. This is due to the cells becoming more sensitive to the hormone norepinephrine, a naturally produced fat burner.
- Fat cells released more adiponectin, a hormone that is significant in controlling blood sugar and metabolism.
However, despite the popularity and wide and varied claims, there are actually NO scientific studies that show raspberry ketones are effective fat loss supplements in humans. Furthermore, the dosage that were used in the animal studies was insanely high.
Bitter Orange (Synephrine): Weight Loss Pills
Bitter orange extract derives from the skin of the bitter orange citrus fruit. The active ingredient, synephrine is claimed to be an appetite suppressant and significantly raises the fat-burning process in the body. However, Synephrine shares the same mechanisms as ephedrine, which has now been banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to the severe side effects.
Scientific evidence of the Effectiveness of Bitter Orange (Synephrine) for weight loss?
Side Effects of Bitter Orange (Synephrine)
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised that the Slimming Beauty Bitter Orange Slimming capsules were found to contain a banned pharmaceutical ingredient called sibutramine. Sibutramine belongs to the group of drugs that are appetite suppressants and is also a stimulant. This substance was not listed on the ‘Natural‘ bitter orange product label.
This highlights a huge problem with weight-loss supplements; they are often mixed with other stimulants and pharmaceutical drugs, some of which have been unsafe for human consumption. Typical weight-loss pills containing bitter orange can cause:-
- Tachycardia: Raised pulse level, irregularities and palpitations
- Hypertension: Raised blood pressure
- Increased risk of Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) and Cerebrovascular Accident (stroke)
- Adverse interaction with other prescribed or herbal medications
Forskolin:Quick Weight Loss Pills
What is Forskolin and how does it work?
Forskolin derives from the plant, ‘Coleus Forskohlii’ that belongs to the mint family. This plant extract has been used since ancient times to treat heart problems and high blood pressure. Forskolin has also been indicated in the treatment of asthma and digestive disorders. Forskolin produces stronger muscle contractions in the heart and blood vessels and acts as a vasodilator (widens the vessels too) which in turn, lowers blood pressure.
Scientific evidence of the Effectiveness of Forskolin for weight loss?
Even though Forskolin is a natural supplement there are potentially dangerous side effects.
- Hypotension (low blood pressure). Symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, fainting and nausea
Tachycardia (elevated heart rate) Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain and rapid pulse rate with palpitations.
- Digestive problems: Forskolin can increase acid levels in the stomach leading to heartburn, indigestion and nausea.
- Interaction with other medicines: If you take any anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as Warfarin or Heparin, Forskolin can increase the risk of bleeding. ALWAYS check with your physician before taking ANY weight-loss drugs.
Originally, the makers of quick weight loss pills would throw in something like caffeine to give you a kick. Now, natural caffeine has been shown to help with weight loss but sometimes even natural substances are added in a synthetic formula in VERY high doses that are not healthy and lead to some serious side effects. Chlorogenic acid is the active ingredient found naturally in coffee and coffee beans, especially green coffee beans which are simply non-roasted coffee beans. Cholorogenic acid has also been indicated as a weight loss supplement in itself and has been identified as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Some of these products – which are most often sold on the internet so that the manufacturers can evade regulators – may include versions of Meridia, Viagra, Cialis or Levitra without the consumers’ knowledge.
These companies set standards of certification for dietary supplements and the bottles should be marked. Although their may well be some adverse side effects from taking supplements, even with ‘natural ingredients’, and diet pills and supplements are not subject to lengthy trials, you will know that there are not any dangerous pharmaceuticals or other harmful substances.
Questions and Answers
Surely some prescription weight loss pills are safe and effective, which is the most popular?
What other types of prescription weight loss drugs are used?
There are a few other common drugs for prescription weight loss out there including appetite suppressants such as Lorcaserin and Qsymia (Phentermine + topiramate) both have shown an increase in weight loss in clinical studies.
Some mood elevators and medicines used to treat addiction and depression have been found to cause weight loss as a side effect. These drugs include Contrave (Bupropion + naltrexone) and Wellbutrin, both are weight loss prescription pills that carry with them cardiovascular risks and possibly an increased risk of suicidal thoughts.
I am very overweight. What other weight loss options are there?
Take a look at our recent posts for weight Loss
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Are you looking for a diet that increases metabolism, cleanses and supports the liver, flushes your system, and loses fat all at the same time? Check out the Fat Flush Diet to get you going. Start shedding pounds today!
- Godard MP, Johnson BA Richmond SR (2005) Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men. Obesity Research, 13: 1335–1343 (2005) (Retrieved March 30th 2016)
- Heymsfield SB, Allison DB, Vasselli JR, Pietrobelli A, Greenfield D, Nunez C. (1998) Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600. (Retrieved March 30th 2016)
- Henderson S, Magu B, Rasmussen C, Lancaster S, Kerksick C, Smith P. (2005) Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005; 2(2): 54–62. (Retrieved March 30th 2016)
- Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, Okuda H. (2005) Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 2005 May 27;77(2):194-204. Epub 2005 Feb 25.(Retrieved April 1st 2016)
- Onakpoya I, Hung SK, Perry R, Wider B, Ernst E. (2011) The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials J Obes. 2011; 2011: 509038. (Retrieved April 1st 2016)
- Padwal R, Li SK, Lau DC. (2004) Long-term pharmacotherapy for obesity and overweight. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD004094. (Retrieved April 1st 2016)
- Preuss HG, Rao CV, Garis R, Bramble JD, Ohia SE, Bagchi M, Bagchi D. (2004) An overview of the safety and efficacy of a novel, natural(-)-hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX) for weight management. J Med. 2004;35(1-6):33-48. (Retrieved April 1st 2016)
- Scheen AJ (2011) Sibutramine on Cardiovascular Outcome Diabetes Care. 2011 May; 34(Suppl 2): S114–S119. (Retrieved March 30th 2016)
- Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Keith SC, Keith PL, Miller H, Kaats GR. (2011) Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes. Int J Med Sci. 2011 Apr 28;8(4):295-301. (Retrieved April 3rd 2016)
- Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Shara M. (2012) A Review of the Human Clinical Studies Involving Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extract and its Primary Protoalkaloid p-Synephrine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444973/ (Retrieved April 3rd 2016)