Overweight and obesity has become the issue of the day for many people. Therefore, the demand for weight loss pills among overweight people increases every year.
When choosing right weight loss pills, experts recommend to pay attention to their composition, side effects and contraindications.
All weight loss pills can be divided into three main groups:
- fat burning pills
- fat blocking pills
- appetite suppressant pills
Fat burners is a class of drugs that can promote effective weight loss in proper use. Mechanism of action of these weight loss pills is to accelerate metabolism and increase thermogenesis in the human body. Fat burning pills help to suppress appetite and increase energy consumption. Simultaneously with the energy consumption, excess liquid is gradually excreted from the body and accumulated fats are burnt. It should be noted that the efficiency of these weight loss pills depends on the components these drugs contain. Fat burners usually contain natural plant components, such as caffeine, guarana, bromelain, cayenne pepper, bitter orange, L-carnitine, green tea extract, ginger root, selenium, zinc and linoleic acid.
It should be noted that if a patient leads a sedentary lifestyle and does not follow a low-calorie diet, the efficiency of fat loss pills is low. People suffering from hypertension and diabetes should not take fat burning pills.
There are a large number of fat burners at the U.S. pharmaceutical market. Some of the most effective weight loss pills that really work are Phen375 pills that are in great demand not only in the USA, but also in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, UK and Canada. To buy fat burning pills at pharmacies, you do not need a doctor’s prescription. Fat burners are OTC weight loss pills. Despite the fact that some of these weight loss pills can cause some discomfort and allergic reactions, everyone can buy fat burning pills. Before buying OTC weight loss pills, carefully read the drug leaflet.
Another group of weight loss pills, which is considered quite effective one, is fat blocking pills. According to weight loss pills review, the best fat blocking pills are Alli and Xenical medications. These weight loss pills proved themselves as reliable and safe drugs for obesity treatment. As an active ingredient, Xenical and Alli diet pills contain Orlistat – a gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor. Orlistat affects the gastrointestinal function, inhibits the activity of enzymes splitting fats and prevents the absorption and digestion of fats in GIT. Clinical studies have proven the fact that more than 30% of dietary fats are not split and not absorbed by the body because of reduced activity of gastric enzymes. Unsplit fats are excreted with the feces.
Orlistat fat blocker has a high safety profile. Even in prolonged use, Alli and Xenical weight loss pills do not cause significant side effects. Furthermore, the patient can control on his own the intensity of unwanted reactions by reducing or increasing the daily and (or) single dose.
In a long-term use of fat loss pills, the deficiency of A, D, E and K vitamins and microelements may appear that badly affects the general health state. Therefore, to fill nutrient deficiency, patients using weight loss pills should take polyvitamins.
Typically, weight loss pills blocking dietary fats come in two doses: 120 mg (Xenical) and 60 mg (Alli). Xenical weight loss pills are sold by prescription only, but Alli weight loss pills are OTC pills that one can buy at pharmacies without a prescription. Weight loss pills containing Orlistat enjoy great popularity not only in EU countries, but also in Latin America, South Africa and Australia. Some of the best diet pills are considered the ones that from the group of appetite suppressants (anorectics). These drugs are considered fast weight loss drugs that help to effectively lose weight for a short period. Anorectic means are Sibutramine, Phentermine, Diethylpropion, Benzphetamine, and Lorcaserin.
It should be noted that by their chemical properties, the listed above anorectic substances are similar to amphetamine (synthetic drug). Because of this, it is believed that anorexiants can cause drug dependence, although not as strong as amphetamine. For this reason, these anti-obesity pills are prescribed as a short-term treatment of obesity (no more than 12 weeks). Unlike the rest weight loss pills, anorectics differ by their ability to affect the patient’s psyche.
The mechanism of anorectics action is mainly in the fact that active ingredient stimulates certain centers of the brain responsible for appetite and satiety. For effective weight loss, the use of weight loss pills with anorexigenic effect should be combined with adequate physical activity and low-calorie, balanced diet. Because anorectics act on the central nervous system, they are not recommended for adolescents under 12 years (in Australia) and under 16 years (in the US). Compared to other weight loss pills, psychostimulant drugs can cause serious side effects.
Some of the best pills among weight loss pills with anorexigenic effect are considered Adipex, Duromine, Suprenza, Phentermine Hydrochloride, Benzphetamine Hydrochloride, Tenuate Dospan, Diethylpropion HCl, Qsymia, and Belviq.
Before to buy weight loss pills, carefully learn the drug label for weight correction and weigh the benefits and risks of the chosen drug.
1. Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia cambogia became popular worldwide after being featured on the Dr. Oz show in 2012.
It is a small, green fruit, shaped like a pumpkin.
The skin of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This is the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract, which is marketed as a diet pill.
How it works: Animal studies show that it can inhibit a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase levels of serotonin, potentially helping to reduce cravings.
Effectiveness: One study with 130 people compared garcinia against a dummy pill. There was no difference in weight or body fat percentage between groups.
A 2011 review that looked at 12 studies on garcinia cambogia found that, on average, it caused weight loss of about 2 pounds (0.88 kg) over several weeks.
Side effects: There are no reports of serious side effects, but some reports of mild digestive problems.
Hydroxycut has been around for more than a decade, and is currently one of the most popular weight loss supplements in the world.
There are several different types, but the most common one is simply called “Hydroxycut.”
How it works: It contains several ingredients that are claimed to help with weight loss, including caffeine and a few plant extracts.
Effectiveness: One study showed that it caused 21 lbs (9.5 kg) of weight loss over a 3 month period (5).
Side effects: If you are caffeine sensitive, you may experience anxiety, jitteriness, tremors, nausea, diarrhea and irritability.
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
It is found naturally in coffee, green tea and dark chocolate, and added to many processed foods and beverages.
Caffeine is a well known metabolism booster, and is often added to commercial weight loss supplements.
How it works: Short-term studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 29%.
Effectiveness: There are also some studies showing that caffeine can cause modest weight loss in humans.
Side effects: In some people, high amounts of caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness, irritability, nausea, diarrhea and other symptoms. Caffeine is also addictive and can reduce the quality of your sleep.
There really is no need to take a supplement or a pill with caffeine in it. The best sources are quality coffee and green tea, which also have antioxidants and other health benefits.
4. Orlistat (Alli)
Orlistat is a pharmaceutical drug, sold over-the-counter under the name Alli, and under prescription as Xenical.
How it works: This weight loss pill works by inhibiting the breakdown of fat in the gut, making you take in fewer calories from fat.
Effectiveness: According to a big review of 11 studies, orlistat can increase weight loss by 6 pounds (2.7 kg) compared to a dummy pill.
Other benefits: Orlistat has been shown to reduce blood pressure slightly, and reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 37% in one study.
Side effects: This drug has many digestive side effects, including loose, oily stools, flatulence, frequent bowel movements that are hard to control, and others. It may also contribute to deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K.
It is usually recommended to follow a low-fat diet while taking orlistat, in order to minimize side effects.
Interestingly, a low carb diet (without drugs) has been shown to be as effective as both orlistat and a low-fat diet combined.
5. Raspberry Ketones
Raspberry ketone is a substance found in raspberries, which is responsible for their distinct smell.
A synthetic version of raspberry ketones is sold as a weight loss supplement.
How it works: In isolated fat cells from rats, raspberry ketones increase breakdown of fat and increase levels of a hormone called adiponectin, believed to be related to weight loss.
Effectiveness: There is not a single study on raspberry ketones in humans, but one rat study using massive doses showed that they reduced weight gain.
Side effects: They may cause your burps to smell like raspberries.
6. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee beans are simply normal coffee beans that haven’t been roasted.
They contain two substances believed to help with weight loss, caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
How it works: Caffeine can increase fat burning, and chlorogenic acid can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
Effectiveness: Several human studies have shown that green coffee bean extract can help people lose weight.
A review of 3 studies found that the supplement made people lose 5.4 more pounds (2.5 kg) than placebo, a dummy pill.
Other benefits: Green coffee bean extract may help lower blood sugar levels, and reduce blood pressure. It is also high in antioxidants.
Side effects: It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. The chlorogenic acid in it may also cause diarrhea, and some people may be allergic to green coffee beans .
Glucomannan is a type of fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam, also called konjac.
How it works: Glucomannan absorbs water and becomes gel-like. It “sits” in your gut and promotes a feeling of fullness, helping you eat fewer calories.
Effectiveness: Three human studies showed that glucomannan, combined with a healthy diet, can help people lose 8-10 pounds (3.6-4.5 kg) of weight in 5 weeks.
Other benefits: Glucomannan is a fiber that can feed the friendly bacteria in the intestine. It can also lower blood sugar, blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and is very effective against constipation.
Side effects: It can cause bloating, flatulence and soft stools, and can interfere with some oral medications if taken at the same time.
Meratrim is a relative newcomer on the diet pill market.
It is a combination of two plant extracts that may change the metabolism of fat cells.
How it works: It is claimed to make it harder for fat cells to multiply, decrease the amount of fat that they pick up from the bloodstream, and help them burn stored fat.
Effectiveness: So far, only one study has been done on Meratrim. A total of 100 obese people were placed on a strict 2000 calorie diet, with either Meratrim or a dummy pill.
After 8 weeks, the Meratrim group had lost 11 pounds (5.2 kg) of weight and 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) off their waistlines. They also had improved quality of life and reduced blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Side effects: No side effects have been reported.
9. Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a popular ingredient in many weight loss supplements.
This is because numerous studies have shown the main antioxidant in it, EGCG, to aid fat burning.
How it works: Green tea extract is believed to increase the activity of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps you burn fat.
Effectiveness: Many human studies have shown that green tea extract can increase fat burning and cause fat loss, especially in the belly area.
Side effects: Green tea extract is generally well tolerated. It does contain some caffeine, and may cause symptoms in people who are caffeine sensitive.
10. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, has been a popular fat loss supplement for years.
It is one of the “healthier” trans fats, and is found naturally in some fatty animal foods like cheese and butter.
How it works: CLA may reduce appetite, boost metabolism and stimulate the breakdown of body fat.
Effectiveness: In a major review of 18 different studies, CLA caused weight loss of about 0.2 pounds (0.1 kg) per week, for up to 6 months .
According to another review study from 2012, CLA can make you lose about 3 lbs (1.3 kg) of weight, compared to a dummy pill.
Side effects: CLA can cause various digestive side effects, and may have harmful effects over the long term, potentially contributing to fatty liver, insulin resistance and increased inflammation.
Forskolin is an extract from a plant in the mint family, claimed to be effective for losing weight.
How it works: It is believed to raise levels of a compound inside cells called cAMP, which may stimulate fat burning.
Effectiveness: One study in 30 overweight and obese men showed that forskolin reduced body fat and increased muscle mass, while having no effect on body weight. Another study in 23 overweight women found no effects.
Side effects: There is very limited data on the safety of this supplement, or the risk of side effects.
12. Bitter Orange / Synephrine
A type of orange called bitter orange contains the compound synephrine.
Synephrine is related to ephedrine, which used to be a popular ingredient in various weight loss pill formulations.
However, ephedrine has since been banned as a weight loss ingredient by the FDA because of serious side effects.
How it works: Synephrine shares similar mechanisms with ephedrine, but is less potent. It can reduce appetite and significantly increase fat burning.
Effectiveness: Very few studies have been done on synephrine, but ephedrine has been shown to cause significant short-term weight loss in many studies.
Side effects: Like ephedrine, synephrine may have serious side effects related to the heart. It may also be addictive.
Additionally, there are many prescription weight loss pills that have been shown to be effective.
The most common ones are Contrave, Belviq, Phentermine and Qsymia.
According to a recent 2014 review study, even prescription weight loss pills don’t work as well as you would hope.
On average, they may help you lose up to 3-9% of body weight compared to a dummy pill.
Keep in mind that this is only when combined with a healthy weight loss diet. They are ineffective on their own, and hardly a solution to obesity.
Not to mention their many side effects.
Take Home Message
Out of the 12, these are the clear winners, with the strongest evidence to back them up:
- Weight loss: Glucomannan, CLA and Orlistat (Alli).
- Increased fat burning: Caffeine and green tea extract.
However, I have to advise against Orlistat due to the unpleasant side effects, and against CLA due to the harmful effects on metabolic health.
That leaves us with glucomannan, green tea extract and caffeine.
These supplements can be useful, but the effects are modest at best.
Unfortunately, NO supplement or pill really works that well for weight loss.
They may give your metabolism a bit of a nudge and help you lose a few pounds, but that’s where it ends, unfortunately.
Cutting carbs and eating more protein are still the best ways to lose weight, and work better than all the diet pills combined.
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