The TrimSpa X32 is a weight-loss dietary supplement whose primary ingredient is a derivative of the Hoodia Gordonii bush native only to the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. The milky substance inside the plant had been traditionally used by native African bushmen as an appetite suppressant for long hunts, and in the 1970s attracted attention for its potential weight-loss properties. Trimspa X32 is the most widespread drug utilizing Hoodia Gordonii's active ingredient, P57, but it has garnered mixed reviews. Safety-wise, like all drugs, Trimspa X32 can cause reactions to occur when used in combination with a number of other common medications, but beyond this general danger many of its ingredients may possibly carry some direct and indirect risks of their own.
Hoodia Gordonii and Liver Complications
TrimSpa X32's active ingredient is the appetite suppressant Hoodia Gordonii, which may cause liver damage in obese people. According to one doctor interviewed by the New York Times, the P57 ingredient is normally broken down easily by the liver, but because people suffering from obesity often have liver problems, this chemical could build up to unhealthy levels. This could be further exacerbated if the patient is taking higher dosages in the hopes of better resisting overeating habits. The questions about P57's effects on the liver were corroborated by Jasjit S. Bindra, a Pfizer researcher who had worked on the drug.
Hoodia Gordonii and Dehydration
Because TrimSpa X32's primary function is as an appetite suppressant, there is also a risk of dehydration during use of the drug. The same stimulation mechanism in the hypothalamus that suppresses hunger also suppresses thirst. Nonetheless, the idea that the supplement had been taken for hundreds of years by African bushmen would seem to indicate that the danger of dehydration is low; however, the fact that the use of Hoodia Gordonii was a well-known part of their culture for so long also may indicate they were better prepared to deal with the plant's side effects.
Glucosamine and Diabetes
The second main ingredient intended for weight loss in TrimSpa X32 is glucosamine, which is intended to help users feel full longer by prolonging the amount of time blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. There are few studies that corroborate this danger of TrimSpa X32, but there is a danger that diabetics can develop greater insulin-resistance along with higher blood sugar levels, leaving them at great risk. Glucosamine is normally used in arthritis treatments and usually carries a warning about use if you are diabetic, yet there is no concurrent consumer warning about TrimSpa X32 itself.
TrimSpa X32 Ingredients and Migraines
TrimSpa X32 also has amounts of cocoa and caffeine, chemicals that have been known to trigger migraines or debilitating headaches. Though causes of migraines are not well understood, both such ingredients may lead to migraines in users that are already susceptible. This issue is compounded as intake of cocoa and caffeine increases, making migraines more likely as users of TrimSpa X32 may be inclined to use more of the pills for greater effect.
- Los Angeles Times: "African Plant Can Suppress Hunger?"; H. MacGregor; Nov. 2004
- LEDA at Harvard Law School: Should TrimSpa X32 Remain on the Market?
- Mayo Clinic: Migraines
- National Institutes of Health: Glucosamine
- New York Times: "An Appetite Killer for a Killer Appetite? Not Yet"; M. Duenwald; April 2005
- New York Times: "A Popular Pill's Hidden Danger"; J. Bindra; April, 2005
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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