You might have tried lots of things to lose your weight, and finally, you are thinking of taking medication? If so, there are a lot of things to understand before you start using the pills. Scientific studies have shown drugs do help you lose weight only when you combine them with other approaches.
So, the best way to lose weight is to go natural. Taking control on your diet and doing regular exercise have a more significant effect on weight loss than taking pills. We recommend you focus on your diet and exercise rather than taking the drug. But if you still want to take pills, do consult with your doctor first.
Doctors usually prescribe you medication only if your BM index is 30 or higher, and if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure due to your body weight.
In today’s episode, we discuss the health benefits and hazards of taking pills for weight loss. But before moving into the topic, let’s see how the medications work in losing weight. In general, the drugs work in one or more of the following mechanisms.
- Reduce Fat Burning: Some drugs help you burn more calories with fewer physical workouts.
- Helps Reduce Appetite: Makes you feel full even after hours of eating, leading you to intake fewer calories.
- Reduce Absorption: Some drugs lead to reduced absorption of nutrients like fat.
Now, let’s go through some popular weight loss pills alongside their benefits and hazards.
Meratrim is a medication invented to facilitate weight loss. It was developed by InterHealth Nutraceuticals and it comprises several medicinal herbs that help boost the metabolism of fat cells. According to Healthline, Meatrim contains extracts of two herbs, Sphaeranthus indicus, and Garcinia mangostana, combined in a 3:1 ratio.
The InterHealth Nutraceuticals claims Meratrim can function in three different ways which are:
- make it harder for fat cells to multiply
- decrease the amount of fat that fat cells pick up from your bloodstream
- help fat cells burn stored fat
These claims are made after the lab test of the Meratrim components. A study was conducted in 100 obese people by placing them on a strict 2000-calorie diet with either Meratrim or a dummy pill.
After eight weeks, it was found that the people taking Meratrim had lost 11 pounds weight and had improved quality of life and reduced cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar level.
Side effects: There has been no side-effects reported over Meratrim as of yet.
Glucomannan is a dietary fiber extracted from the roots of the elephant yam. It is a natural and water-soluble weight-loss supplement that contains 40% of the elephant yam. Besides pills, glucomannan is also available in drink mixes, while it is also added to food products like pasta and flour.
Glucomannan has a greater ability to absorb water as it is one of the most viscous dietary fibers, which helps lose belly fat. Talking about its working mechanism, glucomannan makes a gel-like substance when it comes in contact with water that inhibits the absorption of nutrients from the intestine wall.
Furthermore, glucomannan nourishes good bacteria in the intestine, which ultimately help lower blood cholesterol level and blood sugar level. It is very effective against constipation.
Glucomannan has been found beneficial in weight loss since it can help you lose 8-10 pounds weight in around five weeks.
Side effects: Some common side effects of glucomannan include bloating, flatulence, and soft stools. Similarly, it can interfere with some oral medications if taken at the same time.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee beans are the unroasted coffee beans that are rich in caffeine and chlorogenic acid. These two compounds are believed to help lose weight. The difference between green coffee beans and roasted coffee beans is the latter has reduced chlorogenic acid content.
Consuming green coffee beans regularly increases the level of caffeine and chlorogenic acid in your body. Where caffeine can increase fat burning, chlorogenic acid effectively decreases the rate of carbohydrates breakdown.
Studies in which a group of people was given green coffee bean extract while another was given a dummy pill showed that people taking green coffee bean extract lose 5.4 pounds more than those taking dummy pills.
The green coffee bean extracts are readily available in food or online stores. As per experts, the typical dose is between 60 to 185 mg per day.
Side Effects: Caffeine in coffee beans can cause anxiety, insomnia, irritability, nausea, and diarrhea. While on the other hand, chlorogenic acid can also cause diarrhea.
Raspberry ketone is a substance that gives red raspberries their smell. It is also found in some other berries, including cranberries, blackberries, and kiwis. Many of you might be consuming small amounts of raspberry ketones in the form of fruit or as a flavoring.
The ketones are not extracted from the fruits themselves as it is cumbersome to extract ketones in a large amount from fruits. Talking factually, it needs around 90 lbs of raspberries to get a single dose of the ketone. The raspberry ketones available in the market in the form of weight loss supplements are synthesized.
Even though there has not been any study of raspberry ketones in humans, its lab testing on mice fat cells resulted in significant weight loss. In the study, raspberry ketones were found to increase the fat breakdown and increase adiponectin hormone, which is believed to be associated with weight loss.
There is no single study on raspberry ketones’ effect on humans, so there are no specific side effects of the drug. However, it can give you burps to smell like raspberries.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia Cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement drug. It is extracted from the eponymous fruit, which is also known as Garcinia gummi-gutta. The peel of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) that is responsible for its vitality in weight loss.
Garcinia Cambogia pills are made from extracts of the fruit’s peels. The drug generally contains from 20% to 60% HCA. It became one of the famous weight loss supplements after Dr. Mehmet Oz featured it on his own show in 2012.
Studies showed that Garcinia Cambogia could inhibit a fat-producing enzyme and increase the level of serotonin hence reducing cravings. However, a survey of 130 people, where some of them were given the supplement while others were given the dummy pills. The result showed no difference in weight loss or reduced body fat percentage among them.
Hydroxycut is one of the oldest and most popular weight loss supplements company in the world. It offers various products that come in pills, capsules, gummies, and shakes. Nevertheless, their most popular product is a pill that is simply called “Hydroxycut.”
Some of the major ingredients of Hydroxycut pills are caffeine, wild olive extract, Komijn extract, and wild mint extract. Besides, the pills also contain vitamin C and calcium. Caffeine and other plant extracts are helpful in weight loss.
As per Healthline, one study showed Hydroxycut pills caused around 21 lbs of weight loss in three months.
Side Effects: You may experience tremors, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety if you are caffeine sensitive.
Orlistat is a pharmaceutical drug sold under the name Alli as diet pills while the prescription-only version of Orlistat is sold under the name Xenical. Xenical contains 120 mg of orlistat while the diet version contains around half as much as Xenical (60 mg).
Alli was first approved for the use of obesity by the FDA in 1999. It is prescribed combined with a low-fat and calorie-restricted diet for those suffering from long-term obesity.
Alli inhibits your body from absorption of dietary fat by blocking an enzyme called lipase in the gut. Lipase helps break fat down to fatty acids that can be absorbed by the body.
Talking about its effectiveness, studies suggest orlistat can boost weight loss by 6 pounds. Besides weight loss, orlistat also comes with some other benefits that include reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Side Effects: Orlistat causes some digestive issues, including flatulence, frequent bowel movements that are hard to control, and loose, oily stools.