Do Weight Loss Pills Work?

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • I am trying to lose weight and see advertisements on TV and in magazines for over the counter weight loss pills. Do these pills work?

    It’s easy to fall prey to products that promise instant weight loss results. But the key to losing weight isn’t in a pill it’s in an equation: Calories in
    The over the counter weight loss pill industry is rapidly growing, but these types of pills have been around for decades. The reason this industry is growing now is because these pills don’t work and they never have. In fact, these pills aren’t tested or regulated by federal authorities, which means they can advertise what ever they want, they can put anything on the labels and they can recommend any dosage.
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    Over the counter weight loss pills can have very serious side effects including death. These pills contain alcohol, caffeine, laxatives, vitamins, minerals and herbs. Since the government doesn’t regulate these products, there is no way to know what combination of these ingredients you are putting into your body. Many of these ingredients can interact with your body as well as other medications and vitamins you may be taking and cause serious harm. And while ephedra has been banned from the marketplace due to the risk of death, many over the counter diet pills still contain small amounts of this dangerous herb.

    Healthy eating and physical activity are the only proven long term weight loss methods. We know that eating less and moving more will help you towards your weight loss goals without the health risks associated with diet pills. Remember calories in
    My doctor put me on a diuretic and I’ve been waking up with leg cramps. My friend told me it’s because I need potassium, is this true?

    Diuretics cause a loss of electrolytes, which includes potassium. Low potassium levels can result in cardiac arrest. Potassium helps keep your muscles, heart, nervous system and digestive system healthy. It’s important to restore your potassium levels when you are on this type of medication. When your potassium levels are low, you can experience cramping like you report. Many people know that bananas are a good potassium source but there are several other foods that you can consume for potassium, they include:
    • Potatoes
    • Oranges
    • Cantaloupe
    • Tomatoes
    • Whole grains

    Many salt substitutes also contain potassium. You can speak with your physician about dietary ways to increase your potassium levels as well as information on potassium supplements.

    Potassium is excreted through your kidneys so if you have renal disease, speak with your physician before increasing your potassium intake.

    Is drinking red wine really healthy?

    Red wine contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which have been proven to be beneficial to heart health. Research has shown that wine can increase your HDL, or healthy cholesterol levels, as well as prevent blood clots.

    However, some of the components in red wine that contribute to heart health can be found in grapes and red grape juice. Other factors like eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat along with regular physical activity can also improve heart health. While red wine is considered to be beneficial, if you do not currently drink you can follow a heart healthy diet with similar benefits.
Published On: October 13, 2006

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