Weight Loss
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Let's take a close look at the ingredients in diet pills

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I've already done the research on ephedra/ephedrine in another post.  http://www.calorie-count.com/forums/post/2059 3.html  (see post #16) 

Now I'm ready to examine Bitter Orange, which is an ingredient in many weight loss formulas

Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bitter-orang e/AN01218

"There's no definitive evidence that bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is effective for weight loss. After ephedra was taken off the market due to its health concerns, many consumers ‚?? and weight-loss supplement manufacturers ‚?? began looking for alternatives. One such alternative is bitter orange, which has become a common ingredient in many weight-loss supplements marketed as "ephedra-free." Unfortunately, many of the health problems associated with ephedra seem likely to also occur with bitter orange.

Bitter orange contains synephrine and octopamine ‚?? chemicals that are similar to ephedrine in ephedra. These chemicals may cause high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), which can lead to heart attack, stroke and even death ‚?? as may occur with ephedra. Also, bitter orange juice ‚?? like ephedra ‚?? can inhibit metabolism of many drugs, increasing the amount of the drug in your body and the risk of adverse effects.

Because dietary supplements are subject to far less rigorous regulatory oversight than are pharmaceutical drugs, they may contain higher amounts of bitter orange....."

Who'd like to research another ingredient?  Please choose non commercial sources and not product endorsements.
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A *tag*~it~licious Thread ;)

Index of OTC Quack Diet Aids and Ingredients:

Other Natural Supplements, Diets or Items and Possible Benefits

Crash Fad quite likely harmful & Other Popular Diets 

Prescription Weight Loss Drugs

Edited Aug 03 2007 05:03 by united2gether
Reason: added links
articles clairelaine found when looking for information about the OTC Meta-Slim. 

http://www.calorie-count.com/forums/post/2059 3.html#3

The articles are about the lawsuits and the four marketers of TrimSpa capsules will pay the FTC $1.5 million, while the remaining amount will be pooled in by the seven marketers of CortiSlim and the two of Xenadrine EFX.

Clairelaine posted:

It hasn't been clinically tested, so there's nothing to go by but their claims.  There is absolutely no scientific proof that any of those ingredients help with weight loss, or are safe.  And "all natural" doesn't always mean "safe". 

Here are some news stories about the lawsuit

http://www.newratings.com/analyst_news/articl e_1451308.html

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/17884 .html

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a rticle?AID=/200 70106/OPINION/701060317/1015/OPINION01

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID= /20070105/BUSIN ESS/701050395/1003
Edited Jan 07 2007 07:41 by united2gether
Reason: activated links
Nice job United!  yet we still see posts from people asking if this stuff works! 
And now for the most difficult to research - Hoodia

The reason it's so hard to find reliable information about this plant derived substance, is that all the information comes from those selling it.  As far as I could find out, only one study, paid for by someone looking to profit, was conducted on a small group of people. 

So I turned to Google - Here's what I found:

From the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hoodia/AN011 82

"There is no conclusive evidence that hoodia is an effective appetite suppressant.

Hoodia is a cactus that is native to the Kalahari Desert in Africa. Natives supposedly eat it to reduce hunger during long hunts. This led to recent interest in it as a possible weight-loss aid.

One small study ‚?? sponsored by a supplement manufacturer ‚?? found that hoodia may affect the part of the brain that controls hunger. But much more research is needed to establish the potential effectiveness and long-term safety of hoodia.

RELATED http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-hoodia.htm

"The active ingredients in hoodia were isolated by United States pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and dubbed ‚??P57.‚?Ě Pfizer reportedly had plans to synthesize P57 and market the product as a treatment for obesity. In 2002, Pfizer abandoned the plan and released the rights to the ingredients. This caused some to speculate about the viability of hoodia‚??s alleged benefits. As recently as 9 March 2006, the Seattle Times reported that Pfizer claimed P57 was too difficult to synthesize."

"It is interesting to note that, as of mid-2006, there is no scientific research involving human trials and hoodia. Sources quote a single animal study as the only known research to date. Even so, hoodia was popular enough that, by 2004, it had attracted the attention of newsmagazine 60 Minutes. Correspondent Lesley Stahl made the trek to South Africa to try hoodia gordinii herself. When mealtime came and went without the usual ‚??pang,‚?Ě she said of her experience, ‚??I‚??d have to say it worked.‚?Ě"

"Despite the historical and more anecdotal indications of hoodia‚??s effectiveness in suppressing appetite, the medical profession is quick to point out that without proper studies, no one knows if prolonged use of hoodia might have adverse effects. Consumer Reports evaluated hoodia in early 2006, but without medical research, would not endorse it."


News Target did a 6 part series in 2004.  I'll just cut to the chase and go to part 6  http://www.newstarget.com/002713.html

"Let's take a hard look at the science and reality of using hoodia. First, there's the problem that there's only one decent study on hoodia, and it was conducted on a small number of people, all of whom were obese. Even if the results of that study hold out for larger numbers of obese people, it doesn't mean it will necessarily help people lose that last ten pounds of body fat. As you approach a greater level of fitness, your body chemistry adapts, and going from 20% body fat to 15% is nowhere near as easy as going from, say, 30% to 25%."

"Clearly, the science is sparse on hoodia so far. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, only that the level of research conducted so far does not convince me that hoodia is useful for appetite control across the entire population. We need a lot more research before arriving at that broad conclusion." "Secondly, there have been no widespread clinical trials examining the safety of hoodia as a nutritional supplement. Although no problems have been reported to my knowledge, and the African tribesman apparently chew hoodia with no ill effects, the fact is that hoodia may have side effects we do not yet fathom when distributed to the public at large. Although there's nothing in the research that shows hoodia to be dangerous for people who wish to experiment with this appetite suppressant, there's also nothing to show that it's 100% safe for everyone."
i'll tell ya, i never was much for trying the diet aids b/c they cost $$ and i was cheap, but I fell for the ski team diet, the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet and countless others.  It was all a complete waste!!!

Most of the fad diets I did as a teen, in the late 70's and early 80's, when the dieting mindset was to eat about 1000 calories a day, and that fasting was a good thing.  My mother was usually the one that was on my back about how much I needed to lose weight, and was always either signing me up for Weight Watchers or Diet Center, or getting the food for the latest fad diet.  I remember being about 12 and fasting on orange juice and saltines for about 3 days.  I remember doing the grapefruit diet and the cabbage soup diet (and a host of others) several times in my early teens.  My dieting has gone back since I was about 11 or 12 years old.  I look back now and realize 1) I wasn't really fat, and that I probably would have lost the weight with time, exercise and some better food choices and 2) how little she knew about proper eating, and how much I believed her.  I realize that she went based on what she was hearing and reading in the news and magazines and such.  (Oddly enough, she has become better informed about dieting and nutrition and realizes that eating 1000 calories a day and fasting is NOT the way to go.)  No one really knew about 'starvation mode' or what damage you were doing to your metabolism.  Even doctors were recommending teens to go on diets to lose weight.  I remember ads in magazines like Seventeen for 'fat camps' for girls to attend in the summer, and I seriously considered applying.  I remember using diet pills and water pills, even up to about 10 years ago (because I still had the mindset that severe restriction of calories, etc would help me lose the weight....that eating more than 1000 calories a day meant I was "out of control", that I had no willpower and would never lose the weight).  Looking back I realize I was my own worst enemy.  If I had done it right, from the start, maybe I would have lost it, from the start.  My mis-information, coupled with other issues, only added to my weight.  ::sigh:  The only thing I can do now is go from this point on, with better information and food choices.

Oddly enough, even when I was looking at the all the diet aids, I would specifically choose ones that did NOT have ephedra (or ephedrine) as I had been diagnosed with tachycardia (irregular heartbeat) after the birth of my 2nd child, and was told to avoid all products (including cold medicine) with that ingredient.  So I guess, in some weird way, I was doing something right!  LOL
United - you never have to ask permission!  I love your enthusiasm.  I'd like everybody to chime in and help us de-bunk all these false diet myths.
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