Some Weight Loss Pills Still Contain Banned Substances

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by Our Team

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.

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