Dr. Oz’s segment on the effectiveness and dangers of diet pills was very interesting and a must watch for anyone considering taking over the counter or prescription diet drugs. Dr. Oz had a guest who took Ephedra (Ephedrine Alkaloids) when it was readily available as an over the counter herbal remedy. Since then (on February 9, 2004), the FDA prohibited the sale of Ephedra because of its dangers. The FDA does not strongly regulate herbal remedies, and people all to often think that if it is herbal, then it is safe. Unfortunately for Dr. Oz’s guest, the Ephedra permanently altered the chemical balance of her brain and she is now bi-polar, which will be a lifelong mental condition she will have to deal with. Dr. Oz said that Ephedra is essentially an amphetamine and is similar to taking speed, which explains the guest’s hallucinations and inability to sleep after just a few days of taking the drug. You should not even try these types of diet pills for a few days, because they can permanently alter you for the rest of your life in just a short period of time (days… not even weeks or months!).
What about Bitter Orange? It sounds very herbal and innocent. It claims to increase your energy and reduce your appetite… but is it really worth the side effects of increasing your blood pressure? You can even have a stroke from taking Bitter Orange Diet Supplements!!!
How about Hoodia? Hoodia is sold in every form imaginable – solid, pills, liquid, even lollipops! This was originally used in Africa by their leaders, but now more has been sold in the US than ever was used or produced in Africa. Hoodia basically works by increasing the energy in your brain, so the hypothalamus sends messages that you do not need any more energy so you don’t need to eat. It is dangerous to alter how your brain works though. Living a healthy lifestyle with healthy foods and exercise is the best way to go.
The only effective diet pills are those you get from your doctor and are by prescription only. To be eligible, you need a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30. This does not come without side effects though – you can get high blood pressure, heart palpitations, increased risk of heart attack and stroke and you may not be able to sleep well at night. Furthermore, when you stop taking the diet pills, you will gain the weight back unless you have changed your lifestyle. Notice a trend? There is no easy shortcut… healthy foods and exercise is the only answer!
There is one (and only one) over the counter diet pill that is approved by the FDA called Oristat. Oristat works by altering how your body absorbs fat by coating your intestinal system so that you cannot absorb fat and gain weight. However, if you eat too much fat, your bile will be oily and you will have to run to the bathroom a lot.
Dr. Oz recommends drinking coffee as a diet supplement, because it is a more natural way to aid weight loss. Drink two cups of coffee (black coffee only – so forget the cream and sugar) if you want to boost your metabolism as part of a weight loss plan. But no matter what, eating healthy foods and exercise is crucial!