‘Biggest Loser’ Study Reveals Struggle After Weight Loss

Everyone knows how difficult it is to lose weight if you have ever been on a diet. More important, once you do have weight loss success, keeping the weight off is another struggle. A recent study involving contestants from TV show “The Biggest Loser” demonstrates what really happens after weight loss.

Biggest Loser - Weight Loss

‘Biggest Loser’ study shows how difficult it is to keep the weight off, years later. Photo by Reality Tea

In the study, all but one contestant had regained at least some of the weight lost after six years, during the 30-week TV competition, according to Obesity.  The participants had regained about 90 pounds or 70 percent of the weight they lost. This just demonstrates how hard it is to fight obesity and maintain a healthy weight, even with a competition that has incentives.

There is no magic pill or formula for fat loss but here are a few answers to questions for people who are struggling with weight loss:

If you lose weight slowly, are you more likely to maintain weight loss?

Although many dieters get this advice, studies have shown otherwise including a recent Australian study. In this study, 204 obese people were instructed on live on 450 to 800 calories a day for 3 months, or limit themselves to 400 to 500 calories a day for 36 weeks. The overall goal was a 15 percent weight loss. After three years, almost everyone regained the weight they had lost, regardless of the counseling on diet and exercise. There was no change in the levels of the two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which increases hunger. More individuals in the rapid weight loss group did lose at least 12 percent of their weight (80 percent, compared to 50 percent in the slow loss group) and fewer called it quits (3 percent, compared to 18 percent).

Will you maintain a higher metabolism if you build muscle through exercise, such as weight lifting?

Muscle does burn more calories than fat, so you may think that the more muscle you have, the faster you will burn calories. In fact, a study showed that building muscle has nearly no effect on resting metabolism, which is the amount of calories a person burns while at rest. According to the study, the muscle we build is small compared to the total amount of skeletal muscle on our body. This muscle is at rest most of the time and no one can go around and flex their muscles all day.

Should you avoid snacks to maintain weight loss?

Even though it seems that snacking packs on the extra pounds, studies that randomly assigned individuals to snack or not have not confirmed this, and even studies that observed people have not found that snacks undermine fat loss.

Is there a certain type of diet that keeps weight off?

Many individuals are convinced that low fat or low carb diets are the best for weight loss. However, Dr. Lee Kaplan, an obesity researcher at Harvard, says that there is no weight loss program or diet that is guaranteed to work but that individuals can often keep a loss of 5 percent of their weight, which comes with many health benefits. He tells his patients to try different weight loss programs until they find one that works for them.

Will doing vigorous cardiovascular exercises after weight loss speed up your body’s slowed metabolism?

As long as you are not consuming more calories than you burn you are okay. Although this sounds like a simple task, “this is not as easy a proposition as it sounds,” says Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, a doctor and obesity researcher at Columbia University. The brain controls your hunger and your food cravings, and it is very easy to accidentally consume more calories than you burned exercising. That is a major reason studies that use exercise alone to help individuals lose weight have usually failed to find an effect. Did you know that after you lose 10 percent of your weight by diet alone, your muscles begin using genes that make them more efficient? They actually burn 20 to 30 percent fewer calories for the exact exercise.

Is there hope for weight maintenance?

Do not let this Obesity study discourage you if you are currently overweight or obese. This research is just to show you that anyone can be treated if they seek help sooner and start now. Weight loss is a lifelong process that includes proper dieting, daily physical activity, counseling, medication or even surgery. The best option is to consult with your physician about a weight loss plan that fits you and start your journey for a healthier life today!

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Fothergill, E., Guo, J., Howard, L., Kerns, J. C., Knuth, N. D., Brychta, R., Chen, K. Y., Skarulis, M. C., Walter, M., Walter, P. J. and Hall, K. D. (2016), “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition. Obesity. doi: 10.1002/oby.21538 May 2 2016  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21538/full

Kolata, G. “Short Questions to Hard Answers about Weight Loss” The New York Times May 4 2016 www.nytimes.com

Beans, Chickpeas May Aid Weight Loss

Beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas may be great for weight loss, according to a new Canadian research study.

Beans, Chickpeas Aid Weight Loss

Beans, chickpeas or also known as “pulses”, help you feel full to lose weight. Photo by the Globe and Mail

Data from 21 clinical trials that was analyzed on foods known as “pulses”, found that they can help people on a diet feel full and lose unhealthy weight. Beans, peas and other legumes are some of my favorite foods in my diet so this is good news for me as well. I could eat beans almost every day with rice and not get tired of it. Consuming these pulses on a regular basis means I am maintaining my weight while eating something I enjoy at the same time.

“Though the weight loss was small, our findings suggest that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight, and we think more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it,” study lead author Russell de Souza, a researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said during a hospital news release.

These foods are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals so there is no question how they help you lose weight or lower cholesterol levels if consumed regularly.

The new analysis in the trial included a total of 940 adults who began eating one serving (3/4) cup of pulses each day. They lost 0.75 pounds on average over a six week period without making any extra effort to stay away from other kinds of foods, said researchers. This may not seem like a lot of weight loss but the fact that pulses suppress appetite is the main point. When you feel full, you eat less. The Canadian team also noted that pulses have a “low glycemic index” — meaning that they break down slowly in the digestive tract.

Prior research has found that one serving of legumes makes individuals feel fuller. Each time I eat a few good servings of beans or peas I always have a low appetite and feel less hungry later.

“This new study fits well with our previous work, which found that pulses increased the feeling of fullness by 31 percent, which may indeed result in less food intake,” Russell de Souza, the study’s lead author and researcher with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, said in a statement.

I love the fact of adding foods to your diet instead of removing them to lose weight and most diets fail according to research. It excites me even more that eating beans and peas has been shown to lower bad cholesterol while lowering the risk of heart disease at the same time.

To say the least, if you love beans, chickpeas or other legumes like I do, you should eat them more often to lose weight and improve your health for the future.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Souza et al. “Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials” Am J Clin Nutr ajcn124677First published online March 30, 2016.doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.124677

Small Weight Loss Has Big Health Benefits

Obese people who lose just 5 percent of their body weight can reduce the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and increase their metabolic function, says a new study.

Small Weight Loss

Losing 5 percent of your body weight has reasonable health benefits, study says. Photo by New Pittsburgh Courier

There are many current treatment guidelines that recommend patients lose about 5 to 10 percent of their body weight in order to receive health benefits, but the recommendations were focused on prior studies that did not differentiate between individuals who lost only 5 percent of their body weight and those who lost more weight.

In this study, 40 obese individuals with signs of insulin resistance were randomized to either go on a low calorie diet to lose 5, 10 or 15 percent of their body weight or just maintain their body weight. According to the journal Cell Metabolism, the study found that 5 percent weight loss was enough to lower multiple risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. To put this in perspective, a 200-pound individual could lose just 10 pounds to improve their health profile. This is more encouraging in my opinion because it’s a realistic goal and it is much easier to achieve than losing 10 percent of that 200 pounds.

“Even though five percent weight loss may not have dramatic cosmetic benefits, it does have significant health benefits,” said the study’s author, Dr. Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine. “You’re much healthier on the inside, and it’s a really reasonable and legitimate target for people with obesity.”

This study should be a reminder to obese people that a 5 percent weight loss is really a success and not a failure. Diet and exercise can be difficult for any individual overweight and when you do not see any immediate physical changes, you may feel discouraged. This study is a good example to remind you that you are actually fighting diseases and improving your overall health by losing a little weight.

Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Taking short walks and making small changes to your diet is a good way to start weight loss to improve your health today.

“Our findings show that even a small amount of weight loss has important health benefits for multiple organ systems,” Klein said. “We hope that these findings will encourage obese people to take reasonable steps to watch what they eat and increase their physical activity, because this will translate into a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease.”

To say the least, some weight loss is better than no weight loss at all or even making an honest effort. Just because you don’t see instant physical results it does not mean you are not becoming healthier inside. Losing just 5 percent of your body weight is really a success so this should be encouragement to keep losing weight and receiving the nice health benefits that come along with it.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Magkos, Faidon et al. “Effects of Moderate and Subsequent Progressive Weight Loss on Metabolic Function and Adipose Tissue Biology in Humans with Obesity” Cell Metabolism 22 February 2016

Exercise Alone May Not Lead to Weight Loss

Many of us tend to believe that more exercise is better for burning calories and weight loss. However, this is not the case according to a new study published in Current Biology.

Exercise May Not Lead to Weight Loss

Exercising more than average may not help you lose weight, according to new study. Photo by Women’s Health Magazine

According to researchers, when we increase our exercise regimen our bodies adapt to the energy expenditure which causes us to reach a plateau. This means there is a limit to the amount of calories we can burn through exercise. This study is not to discourage exercise which is essential to keeping your mind and body healthy, but to shed light on how important dieting is for losing weight.

Lead researcher Herman Pontzer, PhD, a professor of anthropology at City University of New York, and Edward L Melanson, PhD, an associated professor in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Auroro measured the daily activity of more than 300 men and women. They came from the U.S., Africa and Jamaica. People in some of those countries are usually more active physically than many Americans.

Although they did not track whether the people lost weight or gained, they had a record of their body mass index (BMI) and calculated their calorie burning for 7 days. As people got more exercise, the calories burned did not rise very much. People who had average physical activity lost about 200 more calories than those who were inactive. Unfortunately, those who exercised more than the average saw no change in the amount of calories burned.

According to Pontzer, moderate exercisers are active “but not serious athletes”. For example, someone who rides a bike to work or walks a couple of miles each day. Although this study did not focus on the role of exercise in weight loss, Pontzer does mention that diet and exercise work together as an effective fat loss strategy.

This study seems to point out that the obesity epidemic may be caused by overeating rather than inactivity. I have always heard the saying that “abs start in the kitchen” so I understand how important diet is already. I also understand how over working out at the gym is not effective as well. Pontzer says that our body adapts to our exercise routine if we are more active which creates an energy expenditure plateau. This is why many people wonder why they workout at the gym for hours every day and see no weight loss results.

The researchers believe that our body has a “sweet spot”, a point at which the calories burned during workouts peak. The way to find it is to pay attention to your body, Pontzer says. If you feel worn out and need more time to recover from exercise, you may be over doing it and need to work out less.

To say the least, diet should be the first step in weight loss but exercise must be included as well for preventing diabetes, stress, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Pontzer, Herman et al. “Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans” Current Biology 28 January 2016

Side Effects from This Weight Loss Method

Although the majority of individuals who have a type of weight loss surgery say their overall health has gotten better, a large number of side effects and visits to the hospital are reported as well, says a new study.

Weight Loss Surgery

Side effects from one weight loss surgery include stomach pain and fatigue, says study authors. Photo by Massey Medical

Gastric bypass is a surgery that helps you lose weight by altering the way your stomach and small intestines handle food according the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Your stomach will be smaller after surgery and you will feel full with less food. You still have to eat right and be physical after surgery to stay healthy and keep the weight off so keep that in mind.

Over 1,400 individuals completed surveys who underwent gastric bypass surgery in Denmark between the years of 2006 and 2011. It showed that only 7 percent revealed decreased health after they underwent the surgery but a shocking 89 percent experienced side effects. About 5 years after surgery, side effects such as fatigue and stomach pain were reported while 29 percent were hospitalized.

About 70 percent of the patients sought medical care for their problems and the most common rationale for seeking medical attention was fatigue (34 percent), abdominal pain (34 percent), anemia (28 percent), and gallstones (16 percent), say authors.

Women, those under the age of 35, smokers and the unemployed were those most likely to have side effects after surgery. Patients who also had the most symptoms had an overall lower quality of life which could lead to depression.

Health care providers should focus on quality of life between patients who are having several symptoms to help them prevent depression. “Focus on the [quality of life] among patients with many symptoms may be required since such patients are at risk of depression. Development of new weight-loss treatments with less risk of subsequent symptoms should be a high priority,” study leader Dr. Sigrid Bjerge Gribsholt, from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues wrote.

There are already new alternatives to weight loss surgery being developed such as the balloon pill and other devices that aid fat loss. Technology is always advancing so there will be more developments to come to help individuals lose weight fast.

Weight loss can be difficult for anyone especially if you are morbidly obese so gastric bypass surgery may be a better option for you. Diet and exercise is most important so consulting with your physician about a plan to lose weight should be a priority.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight and stay fit, talk with your doctor today about a weight loss plan that is right for you.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Gribsholt SB, Pedersen AM, Svensson E, Thomsen RW, Richelsen B. Prevalence of Self-reported Symptoms After Gastric Bypass Surgery for Obesity. JAMA Surg. 2016.

Weight Loss Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes according to a new study at Newcastle. Over 9% of Americans have type 2 diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association so this is a serious chronic health condition that needs to be prevented.

Diabetes

Losing one gram of fat from the pancreas reverses type 2 diabetes, says study. Photo by Clinical Research of West Florida

Diabetes is an issue with your body that affects how blood glucose or sugar levels are maintained. Your body does not handle insulin properly and your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

A new study conducted by the Newcastle University reveals that the disease is created by fat storage in the pancreas and losing more than one gram from the organ can restore insulin production and reverse the illness. The more grams of excess fat you lose the better your chances are for eliminating diabetes.

In the study, 18 obese individuals with type 2 diabetes were given gastric band surgery and put on a restricted diet for 2 months. They were cured of their condition and during the trial, patients between the age of 25 and 65 lost about thirteen percent of their body weight. They also lost 0.6 grams of fat from their pancreas which allowed the organ to release normal levels of insulin.

This is a great study because it reminds us of how important weight loss is and how diabetes is directly linked to fat stored in the pancreas. Keep in mind that you do have to lose a significant amount of weight just to lose that one gram of fat from the pancreas but it will help cure the disease according to the study. Low calorie diets do have the potential to reverse type 2 diabetes but they are not recommended by the researchers and surgery may be the best option if all else fails.

To find out if the results in this study can be duplicated, the researchers are planning a 2 year study with Glasgow University including 200 people. I find this study quite amazing because it actually breaks down exactly how much grams of weight you must lose to reverse type 2 diabetes and improve your insulin levels.

Diet and exercise may be difficult for many overweight or obese individuals but natural weight loss is very important even after you have surgery. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to keeping the weight off and preventing serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, risk of cancer or stroke and even heart disease.

Now that we know how weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes the next step is to improve our health by eating healthy and staying physical as much as possible. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Knapton, Sarah “Type 2 diabetes can be cured through weight loss, Newcastle University finds” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ 01 December 2015

‘Balloon In A Pill’ May Aid Weight Loss

What if swallowing a pill was an easy weight loss option? New research suggest that taking a pill packed with a gastric balloon inside may help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite. With diet and exercise combined, this could be an effective weight loss tool in my opinion.

Elipse Weight Loss Device

A new gastric balloon pill may aid weight loss, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Photo by LeadDoc

When the pill is taken it dissolves in the stomach where the balloon is pumped with distilled water through a small catheter. The catheter is then removed through the mouth. This seems like a simple and harmless procedure that any adult can handle compared to other high risk procedures.

If the procedure goes well, the 19 ounce ball of water fills the stomach and greatly reduces the amount of food a person can eat before feeling full. The balloon is automatically deflated after approximately four months and the small shell is naturally expelled.

This Allurion device, known as Elipse, has not been tested in America for U.S. Drug and Food Administration approval and may not be available for another few years, researchers say. On the other hand, research including 34 people in Greece and Czech Republic suggests that this minor procedure seems effective and safe.

Researchers reported that patients lost an average of 22 pounds within four months. However, experts noted that this device is not a cure for weight loss but rather an aid. I believe letting your doctor help you find a diet plan that fits your lifestyle along with this gastric balloon is very effective for weight loss. You will be able to control your portions and eat less because your appetite will be suppressed.

“Because patients get used to feeling full so much quicker with the device, they learn portion and get used to eating less,” said study author Dr. Ram Chuttani, director of interventional gastroenterology and endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “We anticipate that the improved eating habits patients develop will mean that a significant amount of the weight will stay off, even when the balloon is no longer in place.” I like that fact that the weight loss benefits still continue even after the balloon is gone.

Previous tracking of traditional gastric balloon patients suggests there are long-term benefits. For instance, Chuttani said that after twelve months patients usually keep off about half the weight lost while the balloon was implanted. That number drops to nearly 30 percent five years after the procedure, he said.

Side effects among Elipse patients include nausea and vomiting just as with traditional gastric balloons.

To say the least, this gastric balloon pill can be effective and safe for overweight individuals with a BMI of at least 27, who is struggling to lose weight. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. Although this is a small study that has not yet been FDA approved, I still think it is a promising weight loss tool to help fight obesity.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Ram Chuttani, M.D., director, endoscopy, and chief, interventional gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; John Morton, M.D., president, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and chief, bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, Stanford University; Nov. 5, 2015, presentation, Obesity Week, Los Angeles

Low-Fat Diets Are No Better for Weight Loss

Low-fat diets have been known as a great way to lose weight, but a recent study reveals that they are no more effective than other types of diets. A low-carb diet was found to be better than low-fat diets for weight loss in a recent study published in Cell Metabolism, but results in this study show otherwise.

Low-Fat Diets

Low-fat diets are no better than any other diet plan, according to new study. Photo by NewsX

“We found that low-fat diets were not more effective than higher-fat diets for long-term weight loss,” said study leader Deirdre Tobias, an associate epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The key to success seems to have more to do with adherence than a specific weight-loss plan, Tobias said. “Being able to stick to a diet in the long term will probably predict whether or not a diet is successful for weight loss,” she said. Finding a diet to follow that’s created just for you seems to be more effective for long-term weight loss.

Tobias advised that anyone wanting to lose weight find a sound weight-loss program that fits their preferences and cultural needs. Your doctor or physician should be able to develop a diet plan that matches your body type and lifestyle.

The study published in The Cell Metabolism, reviewed 53 clinical trials including more than 68,000 adults and found that low-fat diets do not help individuals lose weight and maintain that weight loss for more than a year along with diets that have higher amounts of fat. On average, those who followed a low-carb diet lost about 8.5 pounds, while those on the low-fat diet lost 6 pounds at the end of the year, researchers found.

Some experts debate that there should be no limit on fat consumption in our diets but in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists argue that all fats are not created the same. Foods with healthy fats such as fish, nuts and olive oil can shield us from heart diseases, while fat free and low-fat foods can be worse for our health compared to full-fat choices. Tobias recommends that people minimize the amount of trans-fats and saturated fats they consume.

Low-fat diets do not work as well as others because ‘sticking to a diet, whether it’s high-fat or low-fat, in the long-term seems to be difficult for people,” Tobias says. Low-fat diets do not seem to be as desirable as diet plans that let you have a little fat, according to Karen Ansel, a registered dietician-nutritionist.

While Tobias says that focusing on fat alone when it comes to fat loss is usually ineffective, she also insists that individuals need to consider more long-term about their eating habits.

“Using total fat as your only guide is misleading and can lead you to make several poor choices,” she says. “We need to turn the message away from fat vs. carbs, low-fat vs. high fat, and instead focus on the foods that are good for us for long-term success.”

I believe that people should focus on finding a diet plan that fits his or her lifestyle for effective long-term weight loss rather than low-carb vs. low-fat diets. I recommend consulting with a doctor or registered dietician-nutritionist to help you develop a diet plan for permanent weight loss.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Tobias, Deirdre K et al. “Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 29 October 2015

Processed Meat Linked to Cancer Risk

Processed meats such as ham and sausage can lead to colon cancer, but red meat is probably cancer causing also. According to the World Health Organization, foods such as hot dogs, cold cuts and bacon should be avoided if you want to improve your health and prevent cancer.

Processed Meats

Processed and red meats are linked to increased cancer risks, according to the World Health Organization. Photo by Protect America’s Dream

Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has been looking over studies for decades and has come up with substances that cause cancer and labeled them on a scale. Processed meat is in group 1 which causes cancer and red meat is in group 2A which probably causes cancer. Colorectal and stomach cancers have been related to processed meats in the past so this classification is not all that shocking, but it does shed new light.

The overall increase in risk is small and experts cannot pinpoint exactly how much meat is too much, but they do mention that the more you eat the more your risk increases. Beef producers disagree with the findings by saying the evidence is weak and not all panel members were in absolute agreement.

“Cancer is a complex disease that even the best and brightest minds don’t fully understand,” says Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, executive director of human nutrition research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

“Billions of dollars have been spent on studies all over the world, and no single food has ever been proven to cause or cure cancer,” she says in a statement posted on the group’s web site.

McNeill does have a valid point there but eating too much red meat such as beef is still not as healthy for you as white meat.

There was sufficient evidence to label processed meats in the top tier of cancer risks – group 1 – along with asbestos and tobacco smoke. However, eating a hot dog is definitely not equal to smoking a cigarette it just means scientists are sure something causes cancer.

Red meats include pork, veal, goat, horse, lamb or mutton. Processed meats are fermented, salted, smoked, cured or treated to either keep them from spoiling or to enhance their flavor.

Experts still cannot pinpoint exactly how processed and red meats cause cancer. When meats are smoked and cured certain chemicals are created that are recognized to increase cancer risk. Some cooking methods such as frying or grilling that burn meat at high temperatures can develop cancer-causing chemicals in meat. I prefer baking or broiling when I cook to avoid the grease and preserve more nutrients so this is the healthier option for me.

The panel says that each daily 1.8 ounces of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancers by 18%. Each daily 3.5 ounces of red meats increases the colorectal cancer risk by 17%.

I believe that since the risk of developing cancer from processed and red meats is so small, no one should panic if he or she eats bacon or a hot dog occasionally. If you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, slowly reducing the amount of red meat and processed meats is a great way to begin.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer.

Source: World Health Organization “Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meatOctober 2015

Dietary Supplements Send Thousands to ER Yearly

Weight loss dietary supplements rush nearly 23,000 individuals to the hospital emergency room annually, says a new study. This is the first time someone has calculated national numbers on this issue.

Dietary Supplents for Weight Loss

Dietary supplements send 23,000 to ER annually, says study. Photo by news@jama

According to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, supplements for weight loss and energy were the most threatening, and heart problems were the most common issue with those type of supplements. Seniors, women and preschoolers were at higher risk.

“People may not notice that dietary supplements can cause any adverse events, but each year thousands of Americans are treated in emergency rooms for symptoms related to dietary supplements,” says Andrew Geller, MD, a medical officer at the CDC who led the study. Some supplements may be safe but I always recommend diet and exercise for natural weight loss.

With over 150 million Americans taking dietary supplements, the number of people who go to the emergency room seems small to supplement manufacturers. “If you look at the projected number of emergency room visits and do the math, we’re looking at far less than one-tenth of one percent of supplement users will visit the ER,” says Duffy Mackay, ND, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade organization.

I still believe that 23,000 visits to the emergency room for a weight loss or dietary supplement is too many. Experts who did not take part in the study agree that these figure are too high. “The number is alarming,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies the safety of dietary supplements.

The results were found by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration who went through medical records maintained by at least 60 hospitals around the United States. They studied a 10-year time frame, from 2004 to 2013 and searched for occurrences that physicians had specially noted had been caused by some type of supplement.

Adults between the ages of 20 and 34, and women, were most at danger. Energy and weight loss products were the blame for this age group and women were more affected than men overall. Heart issues such as racing pulse, chest pain and irregular heart beat were the most common reason individuals requested help. Adults over the age of 65 had issues with swallowing their supplement so this group was the most likely to be hospitalized. Preschoolers made up for 1 in 5 visits to the ER because many of them had taken a pill when the parent or guardian was not watching. I suggest that anyone who has dietary supplements to keep them out of sight and reach of children. Seniors can ask their physicians about other forms of taking the supplements or split the pill in half to prevent choking.

I do not believe all weight loss dietary supplements are bad but agencies need to step in and make sure that are at least safe. I would like to see those 23,000 emergency room visits decline greatly in the future and hope that people find a safe weight loss supplement to take when trying to lose weight.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Andrew I. Geller, Nadine Shehab, Nina J. Weidle, et al “Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Events Related to Dietary Supplements” The New England Journal of Medicine 15 October 2015