The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.
Have you ever dreamt of a pill that could melt away excess fat and give you the self-control and will power to walk away from double chocolate fudge cake? For years reputable obesity physicians and clinics have dismissed ‘Fat Pills’ as ineffective, potentially very dangerous and addictive. But with recent scientific research and data, they are slowly starting to change the way they used to think.
In scientific terms, obesity or fat storage occurs when your calorie intake consistently exceeds the amount of calories your body burns. Evidence is accumulating to support the theory that it’s not just lack of willpower that makes you obese, but a chronic medical problem, linked to body chemistry.
According to recent surveys, more than one third of North Americans over the age of 25 are overweight. Before I continue, you should note that obesity is defined as anyone 20 percent over their ideal bodyweight. Obesity can also lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Obesity is also a contributing factor in the death of an estimated 300,000 people in North America each year.
With all the dangers of being overweight, if a diet pill can help someone get thin, then perhaps it may be worth the risk. Drugs for losing weight are effective in one of three ways, by decreasing your food intake (appetite suppressant), reducing your fat absorption or enhancing the expenditure of energy (raising your metabolism).
One of the most popular drug treatments for obesity is using a combination of two drugs…Fenfluramine (brand name Pondiman) and Phentermine (brand name Ionomin). This combination of taking two drugs known as Phen-Fen works, and the pounds seem to just melt off (don’t get too excited)
It is believed that most obese people have low levels of Serotonin, which is a brain hormone that affects hunger and mood. Fenfluramine works by increasing Serotonin levels in your brain thereby stopping feelings of hunger and therefore being an effective appetite suppressant. Phentermine increases your metabolic rate as well as affecting another brain chemical, Dopamine, which enhances your feelings of fullness. (Phentermine and Fenfluramine are both derivatives of Amphetamines)
While the medical community agrees that Fenfluramine can curb your food cravings, by depressing your central nervous system and elevating serotonin levels in your brain, they’re not so sure about the effects and safety of Phentermine.
Some of the side effects of Phentermine include hypertension, arrhythmias, nausea, vomiting, impotence, dry mouth, constipation, hyperactivity, severe skin disorders, sleep problems, irritability and other personality changes. Some of Fenfluramine’s side effects are headaches, drymouth, diarrhea, drowsiness, and sleep disorders like insomnia and vivid dreaming.
While Fenfluramie makes you drowsy, Phentermine is a mild stimulant. While Fenfluramine causes constipation, Phentermine can cause diarrhea. So you see, taking these drugs together, they seem to cancel their respective side effects, making the combination more effective, then if you were taking them separately. The side effects of Phen-Fen are very unpredictable and should only be taken under the care and supervision of a Doctor.
People who should not use Phen-Fen include people with a history of drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, agitated states, migraine headaches, diabetes, advanced arteriosclerosis, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, moderate to severe hypertension, hyperthyroidism and glaucoma. Safe use during pregnancy has not yet been established.
So who should take these diet pills? Well if you are ten to twenty-five pounds overweight, the chemical route is not worth the risk. The risks associated with taking them will outweigh their rewards. If you are fifty pounds overweight and don’t have any serious medical problems, then you may want to consult with your doctor about trying Phen-Fen. With being fifty pounds overweight, the risks associated with being overweight may be greater than the risks associated with taking Phen-Fen. Remember that taking Phen-Fen is not the easy way out and you shouldn’t even consider taking this or any other diet pill until you have explored all other options…Healthy exercise, healthy diet and self-discipline are the cornerstones for weight control.
One of the benefits of combining Fenfluramine with Pentermine is that you don’t have to take large amount of either drug when you take them together, which can lessen the side effects of each. What Phen-Fen also offers is a sense of control, where none existed before.
While the drugs Fenfluramine and Pentermine have been around for over twenty years, it’s only been recently that they are getting a lot of attention as diet pills…as well as REDUX, which is essentially a refined version of Fenfluramine. In fact Redux is the first new diet pill approved by the FDA in twenty-three years. It is approved for use for no longer than one year and is recommended for those who are clinically obese (20 – 30 percent overweight)
Like Fenfluramine, Redux stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Serotonin as mentioned is responsible for the physical and emotional sense of being satisfied as well as triggering a general feeling of well being. Redux is not without its side-effects, which include; fatigue, diarrhea, vivid dreams and dry mouth. It can also trigger a rare but fatal disorder known as Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, which destroys blood vessels in the heart and lungs.
Even with these side effects, (some serious, some just mild annoyances) overweight people will still try just about anything in their quest to become thin. In fact an estimated thirty-three billion dollars are spent each year on diet books, over the counter medications, health club memberships and low calorie foods. So with the news of a new and highly effective weight loss drug, doctors are writing between 65,000 and 85,000 prescriptions a week for Redux…despite the worrisome side effects. NOTE: THE FDA HAS RECEIVED UNCONFIRMED REPORTS OF ABOUT 1,000 ADVERSE REACTIONS TO REDUX IN THE FIRST TWO MILLION PRESCRIPTIONS, INCLUDING 18 DEATHS AND 26 SERIOUS PSYCHIATRIC EVENTS. BUT THESE NUMBERS ACCORDING TO THE FDA DO NOT YET RAISE ANY RED FLAGS. Since Redux was introduced onto the market, in less than one year more than 140,000 doctors have written 3.3 million prescriptions. Including the sales of Fenfluramine and Pentermine, that’s over 400 million in sales in one year.
With such a harsh warning the FDA finally removed Fenfluramine and Redux from the shelves, but doctors don’t know how many former users may develop heart-valve problems. Remember if something seems too good to be true, it generally is and nothing short of surgery can replace a proper balanced diet and physical activity.
It’s not just the drug companies who are at fault. They’re just supplying a solution to what they feel is a major health problem in this country and that’s obesity. But what about all the food companies that are competing for your dollars with bigger and larger portions? They are also supplying what you the consumer demands, and that’s better value for your dollar. So they offer 40 percent more of this and super sizes of that. All containing more calories and more fat and ultimately adding you to the increasing number of North Americans who are considered overweight. And in a vicious cycle you look for a quick fix in a pill or exercise in a bottle, anything that will help you to lose weight so you can continue to eat more and exercise less. If a pill is on the market you assume that the government agency in charge of overseeing that industry is looking out for your well being and therefore any pill on the market that claims results that will make you look and feel better is safe. This is a wrong assumption. Mistakes are made, sometimes with tragic results. Remember Thalidomide? How many birth defects were the result of mothers taking this drug during their pregnancy?
With so much money at stake and research dollars being spent, I’m sure a replacement for these recently black-listed diet drugs is not far off. But will they be safe? In a rush to the market place, will millions of prescriptions be sold one day and then the next day be considered a major health risk. Only time will tell, but I can assure you that there are no short cuts. It is, however, important to know and understand about these new diet pills and what scientists are exploring to help the medically obese.
So how do these new diet pills fool your appetite? Well eating carbohydrate rich foods, sends a signal to your brain neurons to release Serotonin. Serotonin then stimulates receptors on adjacent neurons while the rest of the Serotonin is absorbed. Redux and Fenfluramine force your brain neurons to release extra Serotonin and also stops it from being absorbed. The over stimulated receptors now create the feeling that you’ve already had enough to eat.
By eating high carbohydrate foods like ice-cream, french frries and potato chips(all high in fat) what you are actually doing is using food as a drug and attempting to elevate your mood, by getting extra jolts of Serotonin. By getting this Serotonin jolt without eating all the calories (this is what the new diet drugs are doing) it can be an effective form of weight control.
Redux or Dexfenfluramine, is made by separating Fenfluramine. Like many organic molecules Fenfluramine comes in both a left and right-handed version. Like mirror images of each other, they each contain different chemical properties. The right-handed molecule Dexfenfluramine, is an appetite suppressant, while the left-handed version Levofenfluramine makes people uncontrollably drowsy. By discovering how to split the molecule and to produce Dexfenfluramine (Redux) by itself, you eliminate the drowsy side effects of the left side. However one person in four has reported the side effect of being drowsy while taking Redux. You can also probably figure out now why Phentermine, a mild amphetamine, was added to Fenfluramine … to offset it’s drowsy effect.
Although there has never been a head to head study, it is believed that Phen-Fen will produce the greater weight loss while Redux will not only create a weight loss but also produce fewer side effects.
Phen-Fen and Redux can be dangerous if used over a long period of time, so along with these diet pills, lifestyle changes must take place. If not, once you stop taking these diet pills, you will probably return to your pre Diet pill state. diet Pills are not the cure for being overweight and should not be used for cosmetic weight loss.
Another Diet pill the FDA is studying is Meridia (Sibutramine), which not only increases the levels of Serotonin in your brain but also boosts brain levels of Norepinephrine. This dual action, claims it will help you to lose weight and also reduce the effects of drowsiness. This new drug was initially thought of as the next great diet pill, but during clinical trials more than 4,500 participants developed dangerously high blood pressure, higher than normal pulse rates and abnormal heart rhythms.
In 1994 Scientists discovered Leptin and they thought that a cure for obesity had been found. Leptin, is a string of 167 amino acids, and was first isolated from OB/OB a genetically bread Fat mouse. When these mice were deficient in Leptin, massive obesity occurred.
Leptin is made in fat cells and appears to act as a signal to your brain telling it how much fat you have in your body. It was thought that obese people therefore are deficient in Leptin, But this turned out not to be the case. In fact, obese people have four times the amount of Leptin circulating in their blood, compared to thin people. So obese people produce sufficient Leptin, the problem is that the receptors in your brain fail to recognize it. Just as obese people often suffer from insulin resistance, they also suffer from Leptin resistance and can’t get Leptin into their cells due to receptor defects. Scientists continue to study and search for the magic cure.
Just recently scientists discovered a gene and a protein in mice that can regulate metabolism. Simply put, If you eat a Hamburger, your body would have to decide what to do with the calories. The two basic choices are to burn them or store them. If this drug is ever developed, it would tell your body the better choice would be to burn the calories. But don’t go running to your local pharmacy, this drug is years away from development. So It’s back to the same good old advice, eat less and exercise more. You can control your eating and the amount you exercise but you can’t control your genes. (at least not yet)
OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS
While most people feel the pressure to be thin, not everyone seeks their doctor’s help or advice. Instead they turn to over the counter diet aids that line the shelves in drugstores, supermarkets and health food stores. Most of the over the counter diet aids consist of vitamins, minerals, herbs and fibre. Many also contain Ephedrine and Phenypropanolamine(PPA) which is the only drug approved by the FDA for weight loss purposes and is sold under trade names like Acutrim and Dexatrim.
PPA is structurally similar to Amphetamines, which were used originally as diet pills but their usage stopped because of their adverse side effects and abuse.
Besides PPA’s use as a diet pill, it also acts as a decongestant and is used in over 100 different cold medications. According to one estimate, over 16 billion doses of PPA are taken annually and one quarter of these doses are taken in the form of diet pills. PPA was originally used to maintain blood pressure.
The controversy over PPA involves its safety and effectiveness. Although the FDA has declared it safe and effective for weight loss, there have been studies that contain contradictory evidence. In one study, patients taking PPA over a six-week trial period lost only two pounds more than the placebo control group. PPA acts as an appetite suppressant by stimulating the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Although this effect is short lived, the heat producing effects persist for some time.
PPA is safer than aspirin as long as you stay within the recommended dosages of no more then 75 mg. per day. The problems arise when PPA’s are combined with caffeine. This combining raises the blood level of caffeine by up to four times when taken together. Many of the side effects attributed to PPA could be blamed on the elevated caffeine levels.
This leads us to one of the current and most popular fat burning combinations of Ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. Like PPA Ephedrine suppresses the appetite and has a similar heat producing effect. One significant advantage that Ephedrine has over PPA is its’ ability to spare lean muscle tissue while restricting calories. Normally the heat producing effect of ephedrine lasts only three to four hours, but combining it with caffeine and an aspirin, its’ effects are extended.
The dangers of taking Ephedrine can be significant for anyone who exceeds recommended dosages and could lead to strokes or high blood pressure. The ideal combination is 20 mg. of Ephedrine, along with two cups of coffee and an aspirin. Ephedrine is not for everyone and you should take care when you are considering this weight loss/appetite suppressant approach.
You should also keep in mind that these diet drugs, both prescription and over the counter are designed to be used in conjunction with a sensible exercise program, low fat eating and under a doctors supervision. They should not be used for cosmetic weight loss, but used for those who have tried and failed all other conventional means of weight loss, and that the complications of being overweight, outweighs the possible risks from taking these new diet drugs.
I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !