Mad Cow-Like / Alzheimer’s-Like Diseases Caused by Weight Loss Pills?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 08-10-2015

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couch potato

This is the third installment of our quest into weight loss products that are out on the market these days waiting to accost desperate consumers. There are literally millions of people out there in the world who want to lose weight, and they seem to be willing to do or pay almost anything in order to have a “quick fix” for their problem. Unfortunately, there is no real “quick fix” per se. Although there are plenty of claims being made out there by the companies that make these products, the fact is that many, if not most of these products are not only useless when it comes to weight loss, but also dangerous, with some of them even being linked to the deaths of those who use them.

Today we are going to continue with the world of the chemical and natural choices:

Xenical

When the chemical diet drug “Orlistat” (which goes by the trade name of Xenical) came onto the market people were flocking to the pharmacies to get it. This was even though it had an exorbitant price tag attached. It was touted as the new “miracle” weight loss aid. It works by blocking the fat absorption in the intestine. The problem is that it has serious side effects, some of which are merely uncomfortable, and some of which are downright dangerous. It is important to understand that the US FDA was skeptical and not very keen on approving this drug. Initial clinical trials apparently were disturbing and showed some unusual results, for example a seeming connection with using the drug and getting breast cancer. But, as usual the show must go on and big money talks.

Some of the side effects of Xenical are as follows:
• severe gassiness
• spontaneous excretion of oil from the anus
• oily diarrhea or defecation (sometimes uncontrollable)
• complete or partial fecal incontinence (this is fairly common)
• flu-like general malaise
• certain vitamin deficiencies, including: A, D, E, Beta-carotene, and K, which are all fat soluble vitamins
• putrid odor with bowel movements and gas

You may think that the side effects would be worth it, but think before you act! I will tell you a little story of something that happened to a friend of mine. She had been taking Xenical for a while and she was driving along in her car when she had one of the “accidents” that it is so famous for (she had a spontaneous bout of putrid diarrhea) and then her car broke down. She could move, because she was sitting on a putrid, oily, orange colored mess! Well, finally someone stopped to help her, and she had to get out of the car, because there was no way to start it, but she wasn’t prepared for what happened next. The man in the crispy white dishdasha, who had been so kind to stop and help her sat right smack in the middle of the putrid, oily, orange mess! He got out of the car without realizing what had happened, and since her car had started, but she raced off at the speed of light out of embarrassment, and that helpful man will probably think 100 times before he helps anyone else!

Perhaps all this would be acceptable to some for the benefit of a huge weight loss in a short time, but in actuality, the weight loss with this drug is often quite low, and sometimes people even gain weight. This is partly because people tend to think that taking this drug gives them free license to eat as much oil as they want. Also, there are several situations where you wouldn’t be able to take this drug, and since practically anyone can buy it here in Kuwait, many people are going to be taking it that aren’t supposed to. For example, people who suffer from eating disorders (hmmm, aren’t these exactly those who this drug is targeting?), pregnant women, diabetics, people with any kind of digestive disorder, people with kidney stones, gall bladder problems, and people who take certain kinds of drugs, including some blood thinners, and drug to reduce cholesterol. This is one of the reasons that it is imperative that you check with your medical professional before embarking on any new diet program, particularly if it includes drugs.

The moral of the story here is to think before you buy! Don’t just jump on any band wagon of diet “therapy” without thoroughly investigating what you are getting yourself into. While some of the products do work to some degree or the other, many of them don’t work, or work very little. While there are many people who claim that Xenical helped them lose weight, there are many more people who not only didn’t lose weight with it, but actually gained, and while this isn’t exactly the fault of the producers of the drug, it still is a fact worth knowing.

The bottom line when dealing with Xenical is “buyer beware”. This drug isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the side effects are, frankly, atrocious! My advice on this one is when in doubt, don’t!

(Later note…. several years after I originally wrote this article, I was called to a new patient who was basically in a vegetative state.

The doctors really couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her…she was exhibiting signs of mad cow disease, which would pretty much be impossible for her, being a Muslim, who doesn’t eat meat with residual blood, etc, like most people who contract the disease.

So, while I was collecting her medical history, I asked about whether she had been on a weight loss diet prior to her illness.

Her daughter’s eye widened, and she said yes (this was no surprise to me, and sadly, this was not the first person I had seen with detrimental side effects due to extreme “low fat” dieting.

She told me that her mother was on a strict low fat diet and that she had been popping Xenical like candy.

Obviously, her illness can not be blamed on Xenical at face value, because she wasn’t following the proper dosing of the drug.

It was entirely her own fault.

But, what it seemed was that (and this is entirely speculation on my part, but it is hoped that more research will be done on this issue, because it is urgently needed) the low fat diet, combined with fat sucking pills, basically caused her brain to be eaten away (after all, brains are made of mostly fat, and if the body doesn’t have any more, it makes logical sense that the fat has to come from somewhere, and it came from her brain).  Scary, huh???

Let this be an extreme warning!

So, here are two great books for keeping your brain safe while dieting 🙂

grain brain

brain maker 2

(Next week we will continue with our exploration into the wild world of diet aids).

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

Are You Using the Wrong Weight Loss Products?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Natural Weight Loss | Posted on 01-10-2015

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Diet-Pills

The other day on Dr. Phil there were some young ladies on the show who were suffering from a variety of diet disorders, including addiction to diet pills. That is exactly why I began this series, and if you have seen the program, you would know how dangerous this problem is. Many, if not all, of these pills are extremely dangerous, and it so happens that the ones that this particular young lady was taking contained ephedrine, but there are so many out there on the market that it is difficult to keep track of them!

The following are some more of the choices out there on the market today. Good or bad, they are widely available and generally easy to get.
Fat Blockers (Chitosan)

This supplement, also known as D-Glucosamine, has also been touted “the fat magnet”, but is it really safe and effective? This supplement is made from the skeletons of crustaceans, such as shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. Some studies have shown that it can help lower cholesterol levels slightly, so the idea is that it will help prevent fat digestion by binding to it. This has never been tested or shown, so the jury is still out with this one. While this product isn’t usually very dangerous, there is a lot of doubt out there as to whether or not it lives up to its claim. So, let the buyer beware, unless you like throwing your money out.

Guar Gum

This supplement is derived from the “cluster bean”. While guar gum has conventionally been used as a thickening agent in many packaged foods, it is now being marketed as a diet aid. It, like chitosan, is supposed to block the absorption of dietary fats. It is also supposed to help to make you feel fuller (this is from the fact that this is a fiber). While guar gum is considered a fairly safe supplement, in general, it does come with certain side effects, including fluctuations in blood sugar levels (hence not safe for diabetics), bloating, cramping, flatulence, diarrhea, and more. Since this is a bulking agent, we must also remind you of the chance of this supplement causing an obstruction either in the esophagus or another place in the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the cases where this has occurred have led to death. In fact it seems that the US has banned the inclusion of this supplement for this very reason. While guar gum is still approved for use in foods (in small amounts), it is considered an unsafe diet supplement. So, guar gum is not a very good choice in your quest for weight loss, even if it is still available in various forms.

Chromium

This dietary supplement comes in many forms, including GTF Chromium and Chromium picolinate, which are basically minerals found in every day foods. The claims on this supplement are that it can help to increase weight loss, increase muscle mass, increase insulin efficiency, regulates fat production, gives more energy, etc. Several studies have been done on this supplement, and it seems not to live up to any of the claims that have been made for it. There were no beneficial differences found between experimental groups and control groups. On the contrary with some obese patients, it has even been shown to be counter-effective, in fact increasing the body weight. Some studies have even found it to be cell mutating, which is really scary. It has also been noted in some isolated situations that this supplement has caused side effects including disorientation, disruption of motor abilities, and irregular heartbeat. So spending a lot of money on chromium supplements is not your most consumer conscious way to go. All those claims of fat burning and exercise-free dieting seem to be bosh, and people would be better off steering clear.

Herbal Laxatives/Diuretics

These are the variety of herbal tea blends that are being marketed all over the world (including Kuwait) as diet teas. These blends contain herbs that act as either a laxative (moving the bowels) or a diuretic (causing increased urine output). When people diet it is not normal, nor is it recommended for them to flush out the food, fat or fluid from their bodies with artificial means like these teas. You need your fluids and your nutrients, and flushing them out quickly is not a good idea. So, the next time you see a diet tea on the shelf read the ingredients. If it contains herbs like senna, cascara, aloe, cassia angustofolia, locust plant or any of the stimulants that we mentioned last week, such as guarana, kola nut, ephedra, etc., leave it there on the shelf. This type of diet aid can be dangerous and addictive. These teas can cause severe cramping, bloating, diarrhea, nervousness, vomiting, nausea, sleeping problems, and even breathing problems and death!

Aristolochic Acid

This is a plant substance that is found in many so-called “natural” diet pills. These products are often herbal products, particularly Chinese blends. The herbs themselves are probably safe, but this ingredient can cause renal failure, and has caused many people to need kidney transplants. It is also carcinogenic. Unfortunately, even with all these problems, it is still being used and marketed as a weight loss supplement, so, again, let the buyer beware!

Carb Blockers

One of the newest products to hit the diet and weight loss market are “carb blockers”, that are supposed to block carbohydrate metabolism. This is supposed to mean that you can eat a high carbohydrate meal without any of the backlash and weight gain. The important ingredient in these products is a constituent of white beans, which is called “phaseolamin”. The idea is that it binds the carbohydrates in order to prevent absorption. There are some studies that seem to show some metabolic inhibition when ingesting carbohydrates, but there are no long term studies in this regard. The problem with this product is the side effects, which can include severe bloating, digestive upset, abdominal pain or cramping, diarrhea, and more. Is discomfort worth the benefit though? In any case, so far the jury is still out with regard to the safety of this supplement, but it looks clear at this point. The good thing is that they are not very expensive, so you won’t be putting your pocketbook out much if you decide to try them.

If you really want to lose weight safely, try these…

The New Atkins   Practical Paleo   Against all Grain

Just click on the books to buy from Amazon.

(To be continued)

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com