HealthCentral.com

Dr. Dean

Fat Trappers: They Only Absorb Your Money

Posting Date: 05/28/2002

Original Posting: 5/24/2000

INTRODUCTION


They have names like fat blockers, fat magnets and fat trappers -- claiming you can shed pounds without giving up your favorite foods or even having to exercise. But can you really lose weight?

DEAN EDELL, M.D.


"Chitosan is a supplement made from the hard, outer layer of shellfish. First developed to absorb oil spills, chitosan is currently being sold as a weight loss miracle pill."




Visit the Diet Drugs Center

JOANNE IKEDA/REGISTERED DIETITIAN


"Companies are making claims for these products that can't be substantiated with scientific research. There was one study published that was a well controlled study and they found that it did not cause weight loss in human subjects."

DEAN EDELL, M.D.


"But weight loss companies allege that chitosan does block fat absorption in people."

DREW FREY/CEO, ENFORMA NATURAL PRODUCTS, INC.


"We've conducted clinical studies on Fat Trapper that prove that it blocks fat in foods we eat.

"Since there is less fat absorbed by the body, you're going to find that your body can reshape itself into a youthful, more agile form."

DEAN EDELL, M.D.


"That claim is hotly contested.

"In fact, the Federal Trade Commission recently settled a law suit for ten million dollars with the makers of Fat Trapper. They charged Enforma Natural Products with making false and unsubstantiated weight loss claims in their advertising.

"As a result, Enforma Natural Products is no longer allowed to claim its chitason product:

* Enables consumers to lose weight and not exercise.


* Prevents the absorptions of fat in the human body.


* Enables consumers to lose weight and eat high fat foods.

"Dietitians are also concerned about long term health effects."

JOANNE IKEDA/REGISTERED DIETITIAN


"It does interfere with the nutrient absorption, particularly the fat soluble nutrients. Also it increases urinary calcium excretion."