Do Weight Loss Pills Really Work?

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weight loss pillsMany people that struggle with their weight have often wondered do weight loss pills really work? With obesity on the rise, the market for products to help individuals lose weight is explosive. Some of the most popular weight loss aids these days come in pill form, but many wonder whether this is the most effective method to help shed pounds.

What Are Weight Loss Pills?

Unlike organic based supplements such as herbal pills, these little tablets are generally available only through prescription, meaning they are FDA approved.  Basically, these pills work in several different ways to help you lose weight without relying solely on a strict diet and exercise routine.  More often than not, such supplements are reserved only for those who have exhibited the inability to lose weight and keep it off on their own.

It is for this reason, along with the risk of potential side effects, that weight loss pills are left to prescription only, and are tightly regulated by the FDA.  Despite their difficulty to attain as opposed to over-the-counter solutions, though, the market has been booming with customers craving any way to lose weight fast and keep it off over time.

How Do They Work?

Of the various prescription weight loss pills, there are two main avenues that the medications take in order to supposedly help you lose weight.  The first and most common form of pill comes in the form of an appetite suppressant.  Said to do exactly as the name suggests, these pills are intended to block receptors going to the hypothalamus, where the hunger reflex is generated within your brain.  Using medications such as sibutramine, they are intended to block serotonin uptake within your brain.

The other form of weight loss pill on the prescription market is known less formally as a fat blocker.  Again, with the intention of doing what the name suggests, these pills are said to stop fat from being absorbed in to your body.  The active ingredient in these pills is usually orlistat, and it has been shown to inhibit the natural enzyme in your body that absorbs broken down fat molecules, instead of sending them out through your bowel movements.

While both forms of weight loss treatment have been approved by the FDA, the restrictions keeping the pills completely prescription remain, and with just cause.  Inhibiting serotoin uptake in your brain, while proven to suppress appetite, has also shown effects regarding mood, sleep, and aggression among other things.  Likewise, the negative effects of fat blockers can be seen in elsewhere.  As medications used to block fats can often be used for diseases such as depression, there is a fair chance of negative psychological side effects.

The Consensus Is…

While weight loss pills seem to offer impressive results, and while they are FDA approved – hinting towards their efficiency – there remain a slew of unanswered questions and objective realities concerning the side effects.  Suppressing one’s appetite through the use of prescription medication does offer more scientific results than the herbal supplements offering the same claims, however the increase of potential side effects seems to hinder the market.  Likewise, having fat blocked in the body has shown to be useful, though the negative side effects are also quite prevalent.

It is for this reason that the weight loss pills are still strictly regulated.  However, if you are someone who feels compelled to explore the possibilities, it is best to start a conversation with your doctor concerning the possible desired effects and drawbacks.  Keep in mind, though, that even with FDA approval, results are never guaranteed.

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