The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pills Green.” This product is used for weight loss and sold on various websites, such as Amazon.com and distributed by Xiushentang.
According to the FDA website, a laboratory analysis confirmed that “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pills Green” contains undeclared phenolphthalein.
According to the Britannica, Phenolphthalein is a potent laxative, which acts within 6–8 hours; its effects may last 3–4 days. Such adverse reactions as kidney irritation or skin rash may occur. As an indicator of the pH of a solution, it is colorless below pH 8.0 and attains a deep red hue above pH10.0.
It was discovered in 1871 by the German chemist Adolf von Baeyer, who prepared it by fusing phenol and ophthalmic anhydride in the presence of sulfuric acid or zinc chloride. This is a solution used in chemical experiments and is also suspect of causing cancer. (more…)
Qnexa, a diet pill created by Vivus, Inc., that claims to help dieters lose 10% of their weight when combined with diet and exercise, has been approved by the FDA advisory panel in a landslide vote of 20-2.
The panel had previously rejected the the pill due to safety concerns, which has left its opponents concerned. Since the FDA typically follows the advice of its advisory panel, the drug is likely to be approved by mid-April.
Previous concerns about the drug are still present. And if the pill does go on shelves, potential users should be aware of that. One of Qnexa’s main ingredients is phentermine, a type of amphetamine that stimulates the nervous system and increases heart rate and blood pressure. It’s commonly used in diet pills since it suppresses appetite, and was woefully recognized as the “Phen” in the weight loss drug Fen-Phen, which was yanked from the market by the FDA in 1997 after being deemed too dangerous for consumption. (more…)
This Thursday, Dr. Oz and fellow guests will shed light on a new underground craze among mothers in our country. The show is titled, Mother’s Little Helper: The Dangerous Diet Craze Sweeping America.
Dr. Oz will speak with women from across the nation as they explain their obsession with a new pill popping fad. These women will admit to feeling energy boosts, increased concentration, and some women will discuss how the pills have helped them lose weight.
Dr. Oz will interview one pill-using mother who said, “I feel focused, have more energy, and feel like super mom.” Another mother shares how she’s already lost 35 pounds while using the pills and yet another mom simply states, “I really can’t imagine my life without being on this.”
GNC recently signed a contract to exclusively market a new diet supplement called pAGG in its 1900 stores. PAGG is an acronym for its ingredients policosanol, alpha-lipoic acid, decaffeinated green tea, aged garlic extract and biotin. So is this the next weight loss miracle supplement? This supplement was recently discussed in the New York Times Bestseller The 4-Hour Body and its supplier NewHealth Solutions says to look no further for a fast and effective way to lose weight. I say let’s take a closer look.
It’s hard to know where to begin on this one. I see a lot of red flags. Policosanol is a mixture of fatty alcohol most commonly made from sugar cane wax. This product has been extensively studied in Cuba and is used there as a cure for almost anything. Policosanol is indicated for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Not only have many trials shown that policosanol does not significantly decrease cholesterol levels but that it also could increase the risk of bleeding, specifically from the gums or nose. Fish oils may be a better alternative to achieve healthy cholesterol levels.
If, at first, you don’t succeed try, try again. That’s what Vivus, the makers of a diet drug called Qnexa did by resubmitting their drug approval application to the FDA advisory committee and it is now one step closer to being approved. The initial application was rejected because of two main concerns: risk of cardiac events like heart attacks and risk to women of child bearing age and women who may be pregnant.
Qnexa is a combination drug of phentermine and topiramate. Both these drugs are currently available by prescription which makes the approval process a little bit easier for Qnexa because there already are a lot of clinical trials and data available about these drugs. Phetermine increases metabolism while topiramate is used for seizures, migraine prevention and as an adjunct therapy for conditions like bipolar disorder. Weight loss for topiramate is really more of a glorified side effect that is believed to be caused by an increase in energy for the patient and increased feeling of fullness after eating because the digestive tract is slowed down.
Qnexa is a capsule made up of immediate release phentermine and extended release topiramate which would have a longer duration of action and is taken once daily. Vivus is currently studying the use of a low, moderate and high dose combination. Qnexa is indicated for people who have a BMI of 30 or higher or overweight patients with a BMI greater than 27 who have other conditions like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and fat that is most prominent on the abdomen also known as belly fat. The most common side effects of this combination drug include a prickling or tingling sensation, dry mouth, constipation, and headache.
Let’s face reality. As much as doctors and pharmacists will tell you there are risks in taking diet pills and the effects they could have on your health, people take them anyway. What I do believe in is the power of knowledge and educating yourself before taking any chances. Let’s take a look at three pretty popular diet aids and how they compare to each other: Acai, Hoodia, and Raspberry Ketones, the newest craze.
Raspberry Ketones were recently discussed on the Dr. Oz show and hours later pharmacies were getting calls from patients. “Where can I get it, is it safe?” Well I can tell you that not many pharmacies or stores carry this product yet. It’s believed that raspberry ketones help burn fat by increasing the release of norepinephrine in your body. This causes the body’s temperature to rise and in doing this increases the body’s metabolism. Increased norepinephrine could causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Currently most of the raspberry ketone studies conducted were done in mice and we don’t have much to go on for how this will affect humans.
Hoodia is derived from a plant located in Southern Africa called hoodia gordonii. Commercially you can buy it in capsules, tablets, chocolate chews, and a variety of other forms. There are numerous websites selling hoodia, but because the products are not regulated by the FDA it’s possible you won’t be getting any of what you paid for.
There are few studies to support the effectiveness of hoodia. Pfizer was looking to enter the diet pill market and developed a molecule called P57, which was very similar to hoodia, but in 2003 decided to discontinue their research and give the rights to the other company they were working with, called Phytopharm.
Bob Harper, who has been inspiring America as a TV trainer and author from NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser since 2004, recently announced the launch of his newest endeavor, Bob Harper’s Smart Success. This line of weight loss products includes Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss Dietary Supplement, Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss Starter Kit and Bob Harper’s Smart 7-Day Cleanse.
The Smart Weight Loss Starter Kit includes a daytime formula, which contains naturally sourced caffeine to provide increased energy during the day, and an evening formula, which is caffeine-free. The kit also includes a DVD of Harper offering diet and motivational tips and a 30-minute smart workout. Additional products include Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss, a weight loss formula, and Bob Harper’s Smart 7-Day Cleanse, a dietary formula made with Senna and meant to “gently flush the system of digestive waste.”
“I have helped motivate people for over 20 years by showing them how to enhance their lives by providing the tools and knowledge to make it happen through healthy diet and an active lifestyle,” said Harper in an email. “I wanted to give people another way to succeed at achieving their goal weight.”
Holly Madison, former Playboy Bunny and ex-girlfriend to Hugh Hefner, walks up to a retail store counter, drops her drawers, and says she needs a pair of jeans in a smaller size. She’s promoting a diet pill called NV Rapid Weight Loss that claims you can drop a jeans size in two weeks.
Most of the ingredients have antioxidant properties such as mangosteen, pomegranate and bilberry. Antioxidants can help slow down the aging process. Other supplements included in NV like turmeric interact with blood thinners, while Goji interacts with blood pressure and diabetes medications. If you take any of these medications you are at risk of having a hypoglycemic episode, low blood pressure, and risk of bleeding that won’t stop. Cranberry is also included in NV but is most commonly used to help prevent urinary tract infections. Goji and pomegranate can lower blood pressure, which might be why they are included in the product. They may negate the increase in blood pressure that the caffeine could possibly cause. (more…)
The diet pill aisle can be a pretty intimidating place especially for someone who has never taken them before. When diet and exercise have failed or you’ve plateaued for weeks, people look for other options to keep results moving. Here are some helpful tips for those venturing into the world of diet pills for the first time.
Know what your getting yourself into
Diet pills are loaded with caffeine and laxative-like ingredients, so between the two, you’ll be running to the bathroom all day. Diet pill packaging usually will tell you if their products contain caffeine and approximately how many cups of coffee you would need to drink to get the same effect. If you are a caffeine novice like myself jumping from none to the equivalent of 3 cups per day may make you feel jittery, agitated and possibly give you palpitations or increase your blood pressure.
Diet pills may interact with your medications or cause birth defects, which is especially important for women who are within childbearing age. Diet pills like Qnexa, which is looking for approval from the FDA sometime in 2012, will not be recommended for women within child bearing age for this exact reason. It may only help you for a limited amount of time. Diet pills like phentermine are only recommended to be used for up to 12 weeks. Studies have shown that results is not significant enough for someone to continue taking it after 12 weeks. In 2009, Hydroxycut received much criticism because of its effect on liver enzymes and one death was reported due to liver failure. It was recalled and has since been reformulated. Hydroxcut previously contained ephedra but the FDA asked that it be removed from their product when they discovered it caused heart problems and some deaths.
Don’t believe the hype
On most diet pill packaging you will see pictures of toned celebrities and models promoting the success of the product. Let’s be real here: diet pills alone are not going to produce amazing results, which is why they are technically called diet aids. Some products even throw some clinical trial information on the box to make it seem more enticing. Keep in mind that these trials usually only have a small amount of participants and this can skew the results to make their product look better than the placebo. Good luck trying to get a hold of the companies if you have questions. Most are not available by phone or even Internet.