With so many herbal supplements and diet pills on the market, finding one that works can be intimidating. There are, however, over-the-counter supplements available that can help individuals change their diet habits and lose weight. Remember to contact a health care professional to discuss any potential complications before starting a diet plan or supplement regimen.
According to health care professionals at the Mayo Clinic, a majority of herbal weight loss supplements have not been subjected to controlled FDA research. As a result, any claims made by manufacturers of these products cannot be verified. For those herbal supplements that have been reviewed by the FDA, results have shown modest weight loss help by popular herbal supplements.
In addition to any weight loss claims of herbal supplement distributors, these supplements may have side effects. Talk to your doctor before taking an herbal remedy to avoid health complications.
One of the most legitimate natural supplements that has been shown to aid in weight loss is hoodia. Hoodia is a plant originally eaten by South African bushmen as a hunger suppressant. The pharmaceutical company Phytopharm showed in a phase 2a trial that hoodia can decrease appetite, leading to significant loss of body fat. Pills come in sizes of 400 to 750 mg, and "...most [supplement companies] recommend doses above 2,400 mg (2.4 g) per day."
The first thing to know about pharmaceutical-made weight loss supplements is that they are not for everybody. Some of them are specifically targeted to help moderately to severely obese patients, and may be detrimental to the health of an individual who is simply out of shape. To that end, consult your health care professional and discuss whether or not an over the counter weight loss supplement is for you.
While many herbal supplements are generally innocuous and will generally not produce serious side effects, pharmaceuticals for weight loss are specifically formulated for that purpose. Their misuse can lead to serious health complications, so heed any FDA warnings listed on your over the counter medication.
The FDA recently approved a drug known as orlistat, which helps you lose weight by reducing your intestines' capacity for fat absorption. Orlistat is currently available in a non-prescription form called 'Alli'. It is not intended to be a shortcut, however, and according to the Mayo Clinic, "Alli is intended to be used only with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise... ."
Keep in mind that weight loss supplements and over the counter pills are intended to serve as compliments to a well-rounded weight loss plan. To see any lasting changes in physique you must include diet changes and regular exercise. Also remember that pills will not work equally as well for everybody, but eating properly and staying physically active are the best ways to maximize results for whichever supplements you try.