Herbal Slimming pills – Effective alternative or plain quackery?

Press Release:

CERC’s consumer magazine INSIGHT bursts the myth on the latest fat-fighting fad of herbal Slimming Pills

Ahmedabad, July 23, 2012

Slimming Pills

Lack of time for exercise and inability to control the desire for unhealthy food has prompted a particular segment of the Indian society looking for weight-loss in a magical way to explore the seemingly attractive option of diet/slimming pills. But findings of a study conducted by Consumer Education & Research Center (CERC) & CHOICE – Australia’s leading consumer organization, are anything to go by; various ingredients widely used in these pills come with some serious health-related risks. At the same time, these pills can help lose the weight only by reducing the appetite of a person and their efficacy is yet to be proved.

Revelations made in a detailed report on findings of the study, carried in India’s leading consumer magazine ‘INSIGHT’ published by Consumer Education & Research Society (CERC) Ahmedabad, is also startling. It says that the claims made by the manufacturers of such pills are too good to believe, no proper research has been done so far to ascertain the efficacy of these drugs. Citing some reviews by experts, it adds that research in this regard is really the need of the hour, as the weight-loss industry is booming in India and herbal diet pills enjoy a significant share of the market.

Highlighting the findings of the study, the report says that slimming pills can have severe and serious side-effects, if taken without consulting a doctor. Before consuming any such pill, one should also check the ingredients and avoid those having bitter orange, chitosan or chromium picolinate, as their consumption can lead to fainting, heart attack, stroke, malabsorption of nuitrients and loose, oily stools and DNA damage.

The report also takes note of the fact that in November 2010, The Controller General of India (DCGI) banned the widely used anti-obesity drugs containing sibutramine marketed in India under brand names such as Reductil, Meridia and Sibutrex. This ban came into force after studies indicated that sibutramine increased the rise of heart attack, stroke and death in patients who consumed it to shed excess flab.

According to doctors, such diet pills, at the most, only reduce the appetite of the person. This reduces the food intake and thus calories are burnt. But once the person is off the pill, the earlier appetite returns, in some cases even increases. Such dramatic testimonials come with the fine print their results are due to a lot more than taking product X, such as larger changes in diet and activity levels.

There are many herbal weight loss supplements available in the market, which have either conflicting or insufficient evidence regarding their efficiency. Some of these products include green tea and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). These supplements are generally known as ‘fat burners’ and they work by boosting the body’s metabolism. When doctors prescribe these weight loss supplements, they monitor the patient’s condition closely.

Ms. Pritee Shah, Chief General Manager – CERC & Editor – Insight says, “The current evidence for the effectiveness and safety of herbal slimming pills is very vague and inconclusive. Continued use of some such pills increases the risks for psychiatric, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular symptoms in an individual. It also gives rise to diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and in extreme cases, seizures.”

A balanced diet, which is high in proteins and low on carbohydrates and fats, and a daily exercise routine, are the best way to lose as well as control weight. Opting for a diet pill could mean that the only thing getting lighter is your wallet. Weight loss supplements if needed to be used should be taken only after consulting a doctor.

For further information please contact Ms. Pritee Shah (O) 079 -27489945/46

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