Tag Archives: diet pills

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

Green Coffee Bean Weight Loss Claims End in $9 Million Fines

Are you familiar with the green coffee bean supplements for weight loss? If not don’t bother, as the makers of green tea weight loss pills are ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay $9 million in false claims (Schiavone 2015).

Dr. Oz Green Coffee Bean Weight Loss

Dr. Oz approves green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Photo by Lucille Roberts

I have personally watched episodes on the Dr. Oz Show where companies would advertise green coffee bean extract that supposed to help you lose weight but I thought nothing of it. I always keep the mindset that weight loss is not possible without diet and exercise. According to the FTC, a guy named Lindsey Duncan “…and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc., deceptively claimed that the supplement could help consumers shed 17 pounds and 16 percent of his or her body fat within 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and that the claim was backed by a clinical study.”

To make matters worse, that study was later discovered to be flawed, and the FTC settled charges with the company that sponsored it in September.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. This case shows that the Federal Trade Commission will continue to fight deceptive marketers’ attempts to prey on consumers trying to improve their health. “This not only makes me feel safer as a consumer, but I know have doubts about other weight loss claims affiliated with the Dr. Oz Show.

In the agreement, “…the defendants are barred from making deceptive claims about the health or efficacy of dietary supplements or drug products, and will pay $9 million for consumer redress,” a news release from the FTC issued Monday states.

I hope that the FTC will continue to protect consumers from future false weight loss claims and ensure that every company goes through the proper procedure to test their products for actual weight loss effectiveness.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Schiavone, R. “Makers of Green Tea Weight Loss Pills Featured on Dr. Oz Pay $9 Million for False Claims” 27 January 2015

New Weight Loss Diet Pill Acts As “Imaginary Meal”

Obese individuals seeking to lose weight have many FDA-approved prescription drugs to choose from including Belviq and newly approved Saxenda. There is still a long journey for better weight loss as scientists develop new fat loss alternatives every day.

Diet Pill Fexaramine - Ronald Evans

Evans and his colleagues develop Fexaramine, a compound that tricks the brain into feeling full, causing your body to burn fat. Salk Institute photo

Researchers at Salk Institute recently developed fexaramine; a pill that tricks the body into thinking it has consumed calories, causing it to burn fat. This new weight loss pill effectively stopped weight gain, controlled blood sugar, lowered cholesterol and decreased inflammation in mice, making it a great candidate for fast transition into human clinical studies (Evans et al. 2015). Many of the prescription drugs that we have currently on the market like caffeine-based drugs or appetite suppressants dissolve in the blood, but fexaramine stays in the intestines causing lesser side effects.

There was a study published earlier this month on how diet pills or weight loss supplements rarely work without diet or exercise but this new pill could really be an effective option for obesity. “This pill is like an imaginary meal” says Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and senior author of the new paper, published January 5, 2014 in Nature Medicine. “It sends out the same signs that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite.”

Evans and his colleagues gave obese mice a daily pill of fexaramine for 5 weeks in which the mice stopped gaining weight, lost fat and had lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels than untreated mice (Evans et al. 2015). Obese patients who have trouble overeating can benefit greatly from fexaramine because they will feel less hungry and the body will burn calories fast with diet and exercise combined.

I agree that fexaramine may be safer in humans because it doesn’t make it to the bloodstream like other FXR targeting drugs. Administered under a physician’s guidance, this drug would work in combination with diet and lifestyle changes, much like weight loss surgeries or other obesity treatments.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Evans, R. et al. “Imaginary Meal” tricks the body into losing weight” 5 January 2015 Salk Institute

Weight Loss Diet Pills Rarely Work

New weight loss supplements and diet pills are advertised everyday by drug companies claiming to help you lose weight fast. According to a new Consumer Report, diet pills rarely work and they aren’t even FDA approved (Olsen 2014).

Weight Loss Diet Pills

Weight loss supplements and diet pills rarely work, according to Consumer Reports. Clipart Photo

A national survey of about 3,000 Americans, were given supplements they believed to be safe and effective. One-fourth of the participants believed that the products had lesser side effects than over the counter or prescription medications, and about 20 percent thought the supplements were safer than prescription drugs because they’re “natural.” When we are searching for weight loss supplements, we don’t usually think about whether the product is actually FDA approved or even consult our primary care doctors for advice.

Peter Cohen, M.D., a physician at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance who studies supplements says, “The barrage of advertising leads us to think there’s a magic way to melt away 10 pounds –even when we have no evidence that the supplements work.” Unlike over the counter and prescription drugs, supplements don’t have to be proven safe and effective before they hit stores (Olsen 2014). “Of all dietary supplements, the one for weight loss seems to cause the most harm –sometimes liver failure or even death,” Cohen says.

In the survey, a third of the participants who took the supplements didn’t lose weight. Another third lost a few pounds but only 9 percent lost all the weight they wanted and kept it off. The shocking part is that the supplements had little to do with it because 85 percent of the people followed a diet or exercise program (Olsen 2014).

This Consumer Reports survey basically shows us that there is no way around diet and exercise. Research proves that the key to fat loss is finding a diet that works for you. A recent review of 48 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that popular programs like Atkins, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers, all worked as well as the other. The dieters lost nearly 18 pounds after 6 months on average (Olsen 2014). Find a weight loss program like the Venus Factor for Women, that works for you and live a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Olsen, D. “Taking diet pills? Don’t waste your money.” 30 December 2014 ConsumerReports.org