Several diet supplement pills on the market claim to be natural, herbal remedies for weight loss. The term “herbal” makes consumers think that natural extracts are safe treatments for diseases, including obesity. However, herbal remedies are not always safe and in some cases they are dangerous. Hydroxycut was advertised as a safe weight loss product, but the Federal Drug Administration withdrew it in May 2009.
The main ingredient in Hydroxycut responsible for weight loss
The original, primary fat-burning ingredient in Hydroxycut was ephedra. After 2004, Hydroxycut relaunched its product as ephedra free. The dietary supplement has undergone several formula changes as consumers have claimed that the product also does not work well for weight loss. The last major ingredients used by Hydroxycut are caffeine, green tea extract, and guarana. Green tea and guarana contain caffeine, so people trying to lose weight used large doses of caffeine. This led to serious adverse health conditions and a subsequent FDA recall of the product.
Hydroxycut side effects for weight loss
According to the FDA, 23 cases of serious side effects have been reported with Hydroxycut. Many patients report rapid heartbeat and chest pain as the first side effects after taking the drug. The most serious side effect reported by the FDA is liver damage. Of the reported cases of liver damage, there has been one death from Hydroxycut administration. Signs of liver damage include jaundice, fatigue, and abdominal pain. Seizures and cases of rhabdomyolysis and cardiovascular damage have also been reported. The FDA is urging consumers to return the product and stop using Hydroxycut products.
Lose weight the healthy way
The Hydroxycut recall is yet another sign that there is no magic pill or dietary supplement that cures obesity. The best way to lose weight is to cut calories and change your lifestyle habits. A diet rich in vegetables, protein and moderate carbohydrates balances nutrition and provides the body with energy for daily activities. Combine a healthy diet with an exercise regimen and the body will slim down over time. Any dietary supplement that promises rapid weight loss should be avoided, and consult a doctor before buying any type of weight loss pill.
While the typical answer of “diet and exercise” may be what patients want to hear, the use of dietary supplements can cause serious damage to the heart, kidneys, or liver. Severe obesity can be treated using lumbar surgery to help patients lose weight. Always talk to your doctor before changing your diet habits or using any weight loss medication.