Some Weight Loss Pills Still Contain Banned Substances
According to a new study published by the Journal of American Pharmacists Association, some weight loss pills still contain banned ingredients on their labels. These findings merely add to the long list of concerns about the dangers of taking dietary supplements.
What many consumers don’t realize is that dietary supplements are regulated differently than prescription drugs. Supplement makers do not have to prove that their products work as advertised, are safe for their intended use, or that they even contain what their labels say they do. These supplements can be dangerously mislabeled, contaminated with microbes or heavy metals, or even spiked with illegal substances.
During a study conducted at Regis University in Denver, researchers visited one of every vitamin-selling retail chain within a 10-mile radius of the university. These retail chains included GNC, Vitamin World, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods. The weight loss pills were then examined to see if they contained any dangerous ingredients. A total of 51 supplements were found to contain ingredients that were either banned or strongly discouraged by the Food and Drug Administration.
The banned ingredients found within the supplements included ephedra and DMAA. Ephedra has caused 22 deaths and was linked to more than 800 reports of serious toxicity before the FDA succeeded in banning it. DMAA was linked to liver, neurological, and heart damage and was the cause of several deaths before the FDA also made it illegal to use. Many weight loss pills that are stimulant-laden contain additional chemicals that cause the stimulants to stay in the body longer to enhance their effect. Thermogenic Pharma Athlete, for example, contained DMAA, ephedra, and a chemical called 6,7-dihydroxy bergamottin, which is known to interfere with metabolism.
Multiple weight loss pills highlighted their lack of one chemical, such as caffeine, but still had other chemicals that contained similar effects. While these practices are often legal, they are often very dangerous for consumers, especially those who have to avoid caffeine due to medical conditions. Another common practice is to camouflage these ingredients with different names
that are still technically correct. Caffeine is often listed, for example, by its scientific name 1,3,7- trimethylxanthine. This deceptive practice is potentially extremely dangerous for the consumer.
At Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics, we prefer to use safe, effective, and medically approved means to achieve long-term weight loss. Dr. Sadek has one of the lowest complication rates in the country and has performed the most weight loss surgeries in New Jersey.