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Diet Pills - A Buyer's Guide
Slimming pills can be divided into two categories - prescription drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and herbal remedies, which are not classified as drugs and therefore not regulated by the FDA.
The main difference between the two is that prescription slimming pills have been tested in a full range clinical trials, and scientific claims can be made for their efficacy and safety. Manufacturers of herbal remedies may rely on smaller scale clinical testing, or on anecdotal evidence to support claims that they promote weight loss.
What are the main prescription slimming pills?
The only prescription pill which is still available is Xenical. Xenical works in your digestive system to block about one-third of the fat in the food you eat from being digested. Reductil is an appetite suppressant. It works by blocking the nerve cells that release and reabsorb serotonin, a brain chemical connected with appetite. This means serotonin levels increase. Increased serotonin levels make you feel "full" and thus your food intake is reduced. Acomplia is a newly released slimming drug which has now been withdrawn from sale.
Newly released is Alli, a half dose version of Xenical that is available without prescription from Boots online. Alli may be suitable for you if you have a BMI of 28 or higher.
Note that all of the above drugs (with the exception of Alli) should be prescribed by a doctor and only taken if you have a Body Mass Index of 30 or more, or 27 or more with related health problems such as diabetes or heart disease. There are side effects associated with all these drugs, it will be still necessary to diet and exercise, and with Xenical and Alli in particular you will need to follow a low fat diet. Discuss with your doctor whether any of these drugs are right for you before ordering them online.
What herbal slimming pills are available and what do they do?
The following herbal slimming pills are available without prescription in the UK and can be bought online:
Weight Loss Kit
- Available from Home Herb, this kit contains dandelion root, Yerba Mate and other herbs reputed to boost the metabolic rate, reduce appetite and increase your energy. Other slimming products are also available including Bladderwrack (for cellulite and an underactive thyroid), and Psyllium Husk, a concentrated form of fibre to fill you up and aid the transit of food through the alimentary canal (especially useful if you are following the Atkins Diet).
sell a range of herbal slimming supplements including Metasys Capsules, Apple Cider Tablers, BioFirm Danish Detox Plan, Adios, Potters Femmeherb slim aid, Zotrim, Dietrim and Lipobind. In addition, when you shop with Boots online you still get advantage card points and lots of weboffers including 3 for 2 and save 20% on healthcare.
- Appesat is a new herbal diet pill made from seaweed plant extract, that makes the stomach think that it is full. Appesat works by stretching the wall of the stomach, which stimulates receptors in the brain to think that the stomach is full. The drug's effect is similar to that exhibited by gastric balloons, which are inserted surgically to create the same effect. This drug has been approved by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority). Clinical trials have been carried out, with volunteers losing an average of 21 lbs over a three month period. It will be available over the counter from April 2009 but you can buy it online now
- Lipobind - Lipobind is a natural supplement made from the extract of cactus. It helps to reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body. In clinical trials, it has been shown to remove on average over a quarter of undigested fat, which equates to almost 150 calories per meal.
- There is strong evidence to suggest that Hoodia Gordonii, a substance derived from a cactus, works as a powerful appetite supressant. In trials it reduced calorie intake up to 40% and is now being researched by Pfizer. They have patented the right to use the chemicals therein in future slimming drugs. (This site is US based).
AyurSlim - A herbal formulation said to aid fat burning, lower cholesterol and reduce cravings for confectionery. It is currently on offer at £9.95.
- Planto-Slim - These capsules contain konjac-glycans powder, which help to quell hunger pangs. They swell in the stomach and make you feel full. In addition, they enclose food as it travels through the digestive system, leading to a reduction in the absorption of calories.
Carb Lock - Carb Lock is said to work through the idea that carbohydrates and starch need a digestive enzyme for their absorption known as amylase. Certain members of the bean family actually block the action of amylases, so the theory is that a large portion of the carbohydrates eaten pass straight through the digestive track and out of our system without being digested.
See also tips on losing weight and the psychology of eating healthily.