Weight loss is becoming a common goal for U.S. citizens. Unfortunately, instead of working out or eating healthier, many people hoping to lose weight look for quick results through the use of weight loss supplements and foods. Pills, foods, teas, and coffees that promise quick weight loss results can be dangerous to consumers. If a diet product sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
In spite of the dangers associated with dietary supplements, demand continues to rise for these products. Unless your doctor instructs you to use weight loss supplements for medical reasons, it could be dangerous to use these types of products.
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act states that dietary supplements do not have to be approved by the FDA before being marketed to consumers. This means that is it entirely up to the company producing weight loss supplements to ensure product safety. Countless stories about overdoses and injuries from weight loss pill consumption lead us to believe that these companies cannot be trusted to promote wholly safe products. In April, a 21-year-old female from Britain lost her life after an accidental overdose on diet pills purchased online. Those pills contained DNP, or dinitrophenol, an ingredient credited for taking more than 60 lives worldwide. This woman consumed eight of the DNP-containing pills, but only two would have been considered a lethal dose. The inclusion of this dangerous ingredient, as well as others such as sibutramine, proves the dangers associated with diet pill consumption. Even dietary supplements claiming to be “all natural” have been found to contain hidden ingredients that could be dangerous to consume.
While some diet supplements may be harmless, others can cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, diarrhea, agitation, kidney issues, liver damage, rectal bleeding, and sleeplessness. The warning signs for potentially dangerous diet pills and weight loss products include:
- “Quick fix” promises and “guaranteed” results
- Mass emails marketing weight loss products
- Items promoted as herbal substitutes to an FDA-approved drug
- Claims that a supplement offers similar effects to prescription drugs
- Products claiming to be “scientific breakthroughs”
Before using any type of dietary supplement, whether it is a pill, tea, or other item, you should consult your physician. Losing a few pounds may be beneficial to your health, but it should be done in a healthy way. For more information about dangerous diet supplements, visit www.fda.gov.