In January 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a list of 72 'dangerous and illegal' weight loss supplements. Barely months later, it followed up with a warning that advised consumers to immediately cease using 14 products that contain the Hydroxycut supplement. In the same announcement, the FDA warned consumers that it (the FDA) "cannot test and identify all weight loss products on the market that have potentially harmful contaminants in order to assure their safety. Enforcement actions and consumer advisories for unapproved products only cover a small fraction of the potentially hazardous weight loss products marketed to consumers on the internet and at some retail establishments"
There were numerous reports of serious health problems ranging from seizures, cardiovascular disorders, jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure was reported to the FDA.
The net effect of the FDA warnings and plea for consumer vigilance is that we as consumers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the weight loss products we ingest are safe. The old marketing adage 'buyer beware' has NEVER been more important as in the selection of a safe weight loss supplement since a casual oversight could result in serious illness or even death!
Unfortunately, over 50% of Americans are classified by the Centers For Disease & Control (CDC) as over-weight! Therefore, many of us have no choice but to look for a combination of healthy eating habits, increased physical activity and use of clinically tested weight loss supplements that promote the natural fat burning process to produce energy. This process is the key to maintaining a healthy body. Pure energy comes from burning your own food storage!
So how do we ensure that we acquire ONLY the weight loss supplements that are safe, and have a proven track record of safety?
Here are seven (7) simple questions you must consider before choosing your weight loss supplement:
1. Is your proposed supplement listed in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR)? : The PDR is a commercially published compilation of manufacturers' prescribing information on drugs. In the United States, the FDA determines the requirements for patient package inserts.
2. Has your proposed supplement actually been tested in a clinical trial on human subjects? Clinical trials are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions (e.g., drugs, diagnostics, devices, therapy protocols). These trials can take place only after satisfactory information has been gathered on the quality of the non-clinical safety, and the appropriate approval is granted in the country where the trial is taking place.
3. Was your proposed supplement's clinical trial (if any), good enough to be presented to the American Heart Association (AHA)? This is important as the presentation and acceptance of the clinical trial results by the AHA lends another level of legitimacy to the efficacy of the clinical trials.
4. Does your proposed supplement have more than one way to lower cholesterol? This is important for the need to maintain the proper balance in the body. The supplement's untested effect on one part of the body may result in a harmful effect on another.
5. Does your proposed supplement have any effect on blood sugar? It is equally important to understand the holistic effects of the supplement on the entire body through the results of the clinical trials.
6. Does your supplement have a proven track record of safety? Some of the many health risks that some weight loss supplements can possess can be very serious and very dangerous. The FDA warnings and list of dangerous and illegal drugs is an unfortunate reminder of the critical need for consumer diligence. The best policy, when it comes to weight loss supplements, is to always consult your physician before considering taking any such supplements.
7. Does your supplement lower bad cholesterol AND raise good cholesterol? Improve the levels of cholesterol in your body and you'll lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. A majority of heart attacks are preventable. Your choice today to start with a safe and clinically tested weight loss supplement may be the biggest factor in determining the quality and length of your life.
The most effective natural weight loss supplements complement the natural process by enabling the creation of Fat Burning Zones that allow the burning of fat to produce energy. Unfortunately, there are very few natural, clinically tested weight loss supplements that are listed on the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) and meet all the criteria listed above.
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