Does Taking Diet Supplements And Pills Have Harmful Effects?

Individuals with a strong desire to lose or maintain their weight may think diet supplements are a magic solution. 

Most of these claims are not backed up by clinical research, and the manufacturers of these products make extravagant promises about their products. 

The drugs that promise to help you lose weight or burn fat may actually pose hidden dangers. In spite of the risks associated with diet supplements, the demand for these products continues to rise, especially among individuals with eating disorders.

According to Eating Behaviors, up to 50% of people who have an eating disorder take over-the-counter diet pills, herbal supplements, or prescription drugs to lose weight. 

If you’re not using weight-loss drugs for legitimate medical reasons under a doctor’s supervision, you may be putting yourself at risk.

What are Diet Supplements?

Adding a diet supplement to your usual diet is taking it orally. A supplement may provide a nutritional replacement for consumers who don’t get enough of a certain ingredient in their daily diet; it is not always intended to promote weight loss.

does taking diet supplements and pills have harmful effects

Dietary supplements may contain:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Amino acids (Building blocks of protein)
  • Enzymes
  • Botanical products/herbs
  • Glandular extracts
  • Organ products

There are various reasons why people take diet supplements: to lose or gain weight, to restore lost nutrients, to build muscle tissue, to help with physical functions like eyesight, to improve sleep, or to boost energy.

Even if a diet pill or supplement comes in attractive packaging and can be found at an online store or local drugstore, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe. 

A lot of consumers don’t realize that products marketed as dietary supplements aren’t regulated in the United States. If the product contains a new ingredient, it must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

A manufacturer is responsible for proving that a supplement is safe under the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, and not all manufacturers adhere to this requirement. 

It has been alleged that many manufacturers present false information about their products or produce their products under unsafe conditions, or that they add pharmaceutical ingredients to their supplements.

Weight Loss Supplements: How Do They Work?

If you’re looking for dietary supplements that will help you lose weight, there are plenty of choices. 

Companies that sell these supplements claim that the ingredients are able to enhance these results:

  • Curb your food cravings (chickweed, bee pollen, fennel)
  • To get you to feel full before you consume too many calories (guar gum, psyllium)
  • Boost your metabolism (caffeine, guarana, synephrine, B vitamins)
  • Boost your body’s fat-burning (green tea, hydrochloric acid, flaxseed)
  • Prevents your body from absorbing fat from the foods you eat (chondroitin) 

You can buy dietary supplements in just about any form that you can take orally, from pills and capsules to powders, liquids, and teas. It is possible to take some products with meals or instead of meals. 

The underlying mechanism behind over-the-counter diet pills is to stimulate your metabolism, your body’s system for using energy.

Caffeine is the main ingredient in products like Dexatrim with Metabolic Support, which may help you burn fat through a process called thermogenesis. It may be more dangerous to take these stimulants than beneficial.

That said, there are supplements that are free of stimulants. Resurge is one of them. While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature.

In addition, Resurge might help you sleep better. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

Resurge contains melatonin as its first ingredient. Research shows that your body naturally produces melatonin, a hormone that tells your brain it’s time to go to sleep. In other words, the primary function of this hormone is to let the body know when it is time to go to sleep so that it will relax and sleep easily. 

However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews.

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications, pregnant or have any health concerns.

Weight Loss Pills: Are They Dangerous?

Most diet supplements are harmless, and some may even help you feel fuller, burn fat, or boost your metabolism. 

However, the FDA has banned some popular ingredients in weight loss products in the past due to their dangerous side effects, including:

  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver damage
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Ephedra – Banned

Ephedra, a Chinese herbal supplement once widely sold as an ingredient in diet supplements, was banned in 2004 due to risks associated with its use, such as heart attacks or strokes. 

According to a 2005 decision, ephedra may be taken in small doses. In 2006, the FDA’s policy of banning ephedra as a supplement was upheld by a federal appeals court as too dangerous to be used in any amount.

Recalled and banned: Hydroxycut

The kidneys, liver, and other vital organs can suffer severe damage from some weight loss products. 

In 2009, Hydroxycut products were banned and recalled due to reports of serious adverse reactions, such as hepatitis and jaundice. 

Fat-burning supplements caused the death of one person and led to a liver transplant in another.

Fen-Phen – Recalled

Diet drug Fen-Phen, one of the two active ingredients, was recalled in the late 1990s after it was linked to cases of heart damage and lung disease. 

Fen-Phen also contains phentermine, which is still prescribed for weight loss but only under a doctor’s supervision.

Meridia – Removed from the market

A clinical study found that sibutramine, a prescription drug sold as Meridia, could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. 

A primary purpose of sibutramine has been to suppress appetite and lose weight over the long term, according to the National Institutes of Health. 

As a result of Meridia’s association with cardiovascular damage, the manufacturer voluntarily stopped producing it.

If you want to take a dietary supplement that is proven to be effective and safe, I would recommend Resurge. You can learn about the Resurge supplement in this review.

What Do You Know About What You’re Taking?

Over-the-counter diet supplements might contain ingredients that you cannot always be certain about, which is one of the biggest risks involved. 

There’s no guarantee that each ingredient in every weight loss supplement is safe because the FDA does not test all weight loss products. 

Consumers can be informed of tainted weight-loss products by checking the FDA’s tainted products list. 

In this case, consumers would have no idea that they are ingesting such products since the manufacturers failed to list their ingredients on labels:

  • A weight-loss drug called sibutramine has been withdrawn because of its association with high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes
  • Rimonabant is an appetite suppressant not approved for use in the United States
  • The anti-seizure drug phenytoin
  • Phenolphthalein: a cancer-causing experimental drug

Consumers are advised not to purchase supplements on the FDA’s list of tainted products; however, this agency cannot test every new product on the market. 

Before taking any weight loss supplement, you should consult a healthcare professional.

How Do Diet Pills Get Abused?

A person who suffers from an eating disorder may not be aware of the dangers of dietary supplements. 

Weight loss may be so important to them that they do not care about the risks to their health. 

Diet supplements are likely to be abused by individuals with anorexia or bulimia in the following ways:

  • Overdosing on a dietary supplement
  • Diet products that are not recommended for individuals at a normal weight or who are underweight
  • Taking prescription weight loss medication without a doctor’s prescription
  • Stimulating weight loss with multiple stimulants
  • Taking diet pills with laxatives or diuretics
  • Meth and cocaine are illegal stimulants that are mixed with diet supplements

Overdosing on diet supplements or combining them can be extremely dangerous. 

A stimulant overdose can result in dangerously high blood pressure, putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. 

Laxatives or diuretics when taken with fat-blocking supplements may cause diarrhoea, fluid loss, and an electrolyte imbalance. 

A life-threatening organ failure can result from abusing products that expose the liver or kidneys to risks.

Are There Any Weight Loss Drugs That Are Safe?

FDA recently approved the weight-control prescription medications Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride) and Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate). 

Neither drug is approved for those with a body mass index (BMI) below 30. In addition, adults with a BMI of 27 or over and chronic diseases such as high blood pressure or cholesterol may be eligible.

It is generally recognized that most diet supplements sold in your local stores are safe for human consumption. 

It does not mean that you can use these drugs in excess of the recommended dosage, or combine them with other drugs without experiencing serious side effects. 

Due to the easy availability of diet supplements at stores and online, people with eating disorders are prone to use them inappropriately.

An eating disorders rehab program may benefit from weight loss drugs or dietary supplements in some cases. Patients with binge eating disorders often become obese or overweight. 

But in many cases, these products are being abused by teens or adults who have no medical need to lose weight. 

Diet pills can be deadly in such cases. Each client in an eating disorders rehabilitation program is supported individually in his or her recovery goals. 

If that means gaining or losing weight, the treatment team consists of doctors, therapists, counsellors and nutritionists. 

The use of diet pills is generally not part of an eating disorder recovery plan unless they are recommended by a medical professional.

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