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-dihydroxybegamottin, 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 achieving 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.