The Skinny On Why Diet Pills Are No Good


A well-read health and fitness enthusiast knows to stay away from diet pills like a mountain man knows to keep his diet-pillsditance from poison ivy. But most people might not know exactly why diet pills are indeed dangerous to one’s health. After all, if we’re going to be prepared for an argument, we should know all the facts right? A recent story in the LA Times tackled this very subject:

Supplement manufacturers usually claim that mixing ingredients enhances the effects that each individual ingredient may have. But those claims are unproven, and just as likely, say, experts, the ingredients can clash with each other.”


I’m sure you’re aware of the recent ban of the most popular over the counter weight loss pill, Hydroxycut, due to liver damage and other health issues. But for every Hydroxycut out there, there are hundreds more which don’t get any attention whatsoever, making a dangerous issue even more hazardous due to the lack of regulation. The article goes on to mention that:

In fact, dietary supplement makers seldom test the safety and effectiveness of their distinctive blend of ingredients — their actual product — on a large group of subjects for more than eight weeks — or if they do, they don’t publish those trials in scientific journals, says pharmacologist and research physician Arthur Grollman of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. And they virtually never compare a formulation’s effect to that of a placebo, as is required to establish the risks and benefits of drugs under FDA  rules.”

In light of the Hydroxycut case, new rules and regulations are being put into effect for all of these smaller, less known companies producing weight loss supplements:

Since last year, the largest supplement makers have come under new rules and inspection procedures governing “good manufacturing practices” — a set of rules that should ensure more uniform quality in the purity and potency of dietary supplements. Mid-sized companies don’t come under those regulations until next month, and the smallest supplement companies have another year to comply with the new rules.”


So while diet pills may, in fact, be readily available over the counter, that doesn’t mean they have been deemed as healthy for human consumption. Even after the new rules and regulations go into effect, I would still be wary of taking any kind of medication for weight loss when much more natural alternatives are available to all.

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