[UK] The NHS says only one ingredient, Orlistat, has been proven to help people lose weight in clinical trials. But its possible side-effects include skin blistering and kidney stones.
There is no evidence the many other ingredients tested work. But that has not stopped high street chains stocking their shelves with products containing seaweed, caffeine and green tea. Luckily, there are sites similar to lifespark nutrition that have reviews and information on different dietary and health supplements, so those interested in these supplements can learn more about how they can improve their wellbeing as well as any possible side effects.
Holland & Barrett’s £9.39 super green tea diet tablets, like other products, contain chromium – a metal which is claimed to help people lose weight through their metabolism. Some supplements could be a good way to help people lose weight but others opt for weight loss from somewhere like http://weightlosssurgerymexico.icu/ to reach their weight loss goals.
A study by Sydney University this year found chromium became cancerous in animal fat cells under a process linked to diabetes. The authors said diet supplements such as the green tea pills, if taken for a long time or in high doses, might cause cancer in people, although more trials were needed.
Holland & Barrett, like other sellers, insists the levels of chromium in its pills are safe for human consumption.
High street slimming pills are regulated sometimes as food supplements by the Food Standards Agency and in other cases as herbal medicines by the MHRA, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. But because the level of risk is seen to be lower for herbal treatments, makers have to provide less evidence for how they work.
Lorraine McCreary, a member of the British Dietetic Association, said: ‘The bottom line is there is nothing that works like magic. If there was, the NHS would be on it.’
Among the products she criticised is bestseller XLS Medical Fat Binder, which costs £64.99 for 180 tablets but can dangerously lower blood sugar in those with diabetes.
Mrs McCreary said the pills, usually taken while on a diet, are unlikely to work on their own, adding: ‘If any weight loss is achieved, it’s slow, with no evidence of the weight loss being attributed to the binder… It’s lifestyle change that has the effect.’
Another bestseller, £11.55 Adios Max, contains bladderwrack, linked in high doses to an overactive thyroid, which can lead to miscarriage.
The seaweed ingredient is said to speed up the metabolism, but dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton said: ‘This is unproven as there are no peer-reviewed clinical trials. Any weight loss is likely to be due to water loss as several ingredients in Adios are diuretics.’ Many people choose to instead opt for a more trusted option. For example, Omega 7 helps with weight loss and is made from fish oils, which more people are comfortable taking.
Holland & Barrett said: ‘All of the products we retail are approved to be sold under UK and European law, and this includes the safety and efficacy of ingredients…
‘We also make it clear to customers that our weight management lines should be used in conjunction with a sensible calorie-controlled diet and increases in physical activity, and if people are taking any medication they are advised to consult a doctor or healthcare professional before use.’ Holland & Barrett said it makes no weight loss claims for chromium. A spokesman added: ‘All of our products make it clear that users should never exceed the stated dosage.’
XLS Medical said its product had been tested for safety and efficacy against international standards, adding: ‘We do recommend that diabetic patients consult their doctor before taking XLS Medical products. This is included in the in-pack information leaflet.’
A spokesman for Diomed Herbals, brand owner of Adios Max, said it was approved by the MHRA, adding: ‘The active herbal ingredient in Adios Max, Fucus vesiculosus, is the subject of a recent monograph published in 2014 by the European Medicines Agency. This monograph confirms that Fucus has an established function as an aid to weight loss and can be used safely for this purpose.’
Photo: The NHS says only one diet pill ingredient, Orlistat, has been proven to help people lose weight in clinical trials. But that has not stopped high street chains stocking their shelves with products containing seaweed, caffeine and green tea