Monday, July 29, 2013

Diet Drugs: A Quick View

Diet Drugs: A Quick View

Having a healthy body weight can reduce the risk of medical conditions: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and even some cancers. The benefits of having a healthy weight are apparent, but are people harming themselves to achieve it? Studies have revealed that one in five women have used diet drugs as part of their diet plan when trying to lose weight. There are several types of diet drugs that all claim to make you skinny fast. Many of these drugs have very serious side effects and show very little results. The Mayo Clinic did a very good job creating a list of some of the more popular drugs, their claim, effectiveness, and side effects associated with the drug (see link below). I have chosen two different drugs that claim to reduce body weight using different methods to investigate. Alli is a very popular diet drug that hopes to help people lose weight by decreasing absorption of dietary fat. Another diet drug is Chromium, which is used to decrease appetite and increase calories burning. Both weight loss drugs come with the recomendation that the individual follow a low fat diet and exercise plan, for best results. In fact, individuals taking Alli are recommended to eat meals with less than 15 grams of fat to reduce the risk of side effects. There about 14 grams of fat in a slice of Pizza Hut pizza. There are about 9 grams of fat in a hamburger at McDonalds (that's without cheese). How many hamburgers does it take for you to get full? Now that you have an idea of what these diet drugs do, lets see how they work:



Alli is an over the counter drug that has the same drug as a prescription drug called Orlistat (Xenical). Alli has been proven to be effective, but the outcome is more modest than its prescription friend, Xenical.

Alli works by reducing the amount of fat that is absorbed into the body.  As we know enzymes in the stomach breakdown fat into smaller particles to be absorbed. Alli attaches itself to the enzyme, stopping it from making contact with the fat and breaking it down, causing 25% less fat to be absorbed. Undigested fat is then passed out of the body.

Side effects of Alli include: Loose stool, oily stool, frequent or hard- to- control bowel movements;

There have been some reports of severe liver damage associated with Alli as well.


     Caption: "Please excuse me from being late I have explosive diarrhea. -K-"



Chromium is a mineral that is already found in the body, in trace amounts. Chromium helps insulin be more efficient in to body. Insulin is critical to the metabolism of glucose. Chromium is believed to assist glucose transition into muscle cells instead of fat cells. A chromium supplement has been produced in hopes that an increase of this mineral will speed up its effect on the body.

The mayo clinic found Chromium supplements are probably ineffective.

Side effects for Chromium supplements include:

Headache, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, and cognitive dysfunction.

**It is important to fully research any diet drug and contact your doctor before starting these types of medication**


  1. Very interesting. I think when one takes these the side effects make it even more not worth it. It's already not the best for your health but why jeopardize it even more.

  2. I agree with Chrissy, when the body is consuming more vitamins and substances that it was built for it is not healthy. But people will do what they can to get to where they want to be. But then you look at the effects of being overweight, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and even some cancers. What would be worse, all or some of these, or diarrhea?

  3. I was thinking the recommendations for best results while taking the medications would probably help an individual lose weight, without the medication. The Chromium suggests you eat meals with fewer than 15 grams of fat. Both recommend you eat healthy and exercise for best results. I don't see why the drug is needed.