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Diet / Weight Loss Pills





These days, people are always on the lookout for an easy way to lose weight. According to a 1 study done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an estimated 61 percent of adults in the United States were overweight, along with 1 percent of children and adolescents. With these statistics, people should be looking for a way to better themselves, but in a healthy fashion. Primarily starting in the 10’s, body image, exercise, and diet became a major concern in the U.S. Being thin was and still is fashionable and much desired, due to the emphasis on slender bodies in popular magazines and on the TV. Having this sort of beauty and perfection around all the time can take a toll on a person’s self-esteem. This could be why Americans are looking for that quick fix, that magical pill that helps take off the weight as soon as possible.


Over the years, the diet craze has escalated, bringing forth different types of weight loss products. From aerobic workout tapes to diet supplements, people are bound to try anything as long as the commercial or advertisement is convincing enough. Products such as Xenadrine, Hydroxycut, Phentermine (prescription appetite suppressant), Metabolife, and the Hollywood Diet (beverage) are now out on the market. Some of these pills contain ephedrine, which has had some controversy behind it. Several years ago products containing fen-phen were considered harmless at first until safety issues arose.


Custom Essays on Diet Pills- Nutrition

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I chose this particular topic because I have taken pills such as Xenadrine and Hydroxycut and also know people who have taken them. I want to learn more about the effects of these supplements, and know what it is I am really placing into my body.


For years, Americans have been looking for an easy way to lose that extra weight they carry. Gym memberships have increased from 17.4 million in 17 to 0.6 million in 1. That’s a 76% increase. Along with the new fitness craze came the different products, such as diet supplements. Along with these new weight loss pills on the market came the issue of safety. In 16, Fen-Phen became the popular way for the public to manage their weight. Fen-phen is the combination of fenfluramine and phentermine. The FDA approved fenfluramine and phentermine as a short-term way to suppress the appetite. Two of the most widely prescribed diet pills, Pondimin and Redux, contained fen-phen. In an October , 16 CNN.com article, the FDA produced safety warnings about the use of fen-phen. According to the FDA, fen-phen should not be used if 1. your are an alcoholic . are taking certain anti-depressants . have moderate to high blood pressure, and 4. have symptoms of heart disease. Although fen-phen was recalled a year later in 17, 6 million people had already taken products containing it. Why was it recalled? According to the FDA and studies done at the Mayo Clinic, On July 8, 17, the Clinic reported 4 patients that developed heart valve disease after taking fen-phen. Valvular heart disease is caused when there is a leak in one of the heart’s valves, which may cause severe heart and/or lung disease. On September 15, 17, the FDA decided to stop sales on Pondimin and Redux.


Six years have passed and the public is still consumed with the idea of weight loss. The exercise industry, which includes diet products, is a billion dollar business. Although there are new products on the market, there is still controversy surrounding the weight loss pills. Nowadays the cause of concern is ephedrine.


Ephedrine comes from the Chinese herbal extracts of Ma huang. It has also been associated with increased heart rate including heart palpitations, dizziness, strokes, seizure, and death.


In 17, the FDA issued a release on safety measures for the use of ephedrine dietary supplements. The release was in response to hundreds of people who reported illnesses and injuries because of this particular herb. Since 1, there are 800 reported cases of illness due to ephedrine. Although there have been hundreds of reported cases, the FDA chose not to ban these products, but gave warnings on usage. Since ephedrine is a heart and nervous system stimulant, and the FDA advises people who have hypertension, heart conditions, and neurological disorders not to use these ephedrine products. Pregnant women were also advised against it. According to the FDA’s proposal,”It would prohibit the marketing of dietary supplements containing 8 milligrams or more of ephedrine alkaloids per serving.” There were also suggestions on the recommended intake of ephedrine such as 8 mg. or more in a 6 hour period or 4 mg. in a day would not be allowed because of safety reasons. It was also stated that there be a warning and instructions placed on labeling because of the possible effects.


Hydroxycut is one of the popular weight loss supplements that are out on the market today. The name hydroxycut comes from hydroxycitric acid in the formula, which is one of the main ingredients. A Ma Huang extract (stem and leaf) is also part of the ingredients with 0 mg. of ephedra alkaloids as a serving size. The formula in hydroxycut “is supposed to be able to block the conversion of excess calories into stored body fat.” Even though this may sound like a wonderful claim, it doesn’t go without any reported side effects. Side effects may include migraines, nervous jitters, mood swings, insomnia, heart palpitations and arrhythmias, etc. Also, some of the warnings and recommended uses include not using this product with alcohol, avoid using caffeine because it rapid heart beats, and taking this product 0 minutes prior to working out or eating to increase the effectiveness. The warning label on the bottle also recommends “not using the product for more than 1 weeks, to stop taking the pills weeks before surgery, and that improper use of this product may cause serious adverse health effects. Now on the market hydroxycut is offering their formula without ephedrine.


Another popular weight loss product is Xenadrine. Xenadrine is another supplement which contains ephedra and like Hydroxycut, the formula in Xenadrine is an energy booster which may suppress appetite. Another similarity between these two is the warnings and possible effects involved with taking these two supplements. Some effects that people have reported are massive energy boosts, rapid heart beats, nausea, and upset stomachs. Now there is an ephedra free version of Xenadrine on the market, but the effectives may be slightly different. Like Hydroxycut, there are similar warnings and recommendations of usage on the packaging, warning consumers to use this product wisely.


Lawsuits have arisen in the past years, first starting with fen-phen. The first national lawsuit was filed in 17 by Leiff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. The case was filed alleging that the manufacturers had failed to tell doctors and physicians of the dangers of this drug. The case was won in 1, with American Home Products agreeing to a class action settlement worth as much as $4.75 billion for people who took Pondimin or Redux. Just recently on March 7, 00, a lawsuit was filed against the creators of Hydroxycut. In Jefferson City, MO, Attorney General Jay Nixon filed a suit claiming that the manufacturers of Hydroxycut failed to disclose safety risks. It was also an issue that on the warning labels, the print was not noticeable enough for consumers. The company MuscleTech had problems with studies also, with the test subjects having their own health problems due to Hydroxycut intake.


There is a huge possibility that ephedra based products will be off the market soon because of the safety concerns. Like its predecessor, fen-phen, there could be health concerns in the future for people who have taken ephedra based products. Although ephedrine may be taken off the market, people will turn to other weight loss formulas for a quick way to shed the pounds, and the cycle will start again.


Sources


a href=http//www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/hhsephed.html http//www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/hhsephed.html/a


FDA Proposes Safety Measures for Ephedrine Dietary Supplements


This article was released from the FDA about ephedrine warnings and safety precautions. This was an informative article that discussed the possible effects of using ephedra based products. I found this article very useful for my nutrition project because the points given in the article were clear. First the article discussed how there should be warnings on the labels because ephedra is a very powerful stimulant that could cause health problems. The article also talks about the proper usage of ephedrine in daily servings. Another section of the article talks about how ephedrine shouldn’t be mixed with other stimulants, as well as


Fen-Phen Diet Drugs Litigation


a href=http//www.lieffcabraser.com/dietdrugs.lawsuits.htm http//www.lieffcabraser.com/dietdrugs.lawsuits.htma/


This is another article I chose to use, and again was helpful. This described the first national lawsuit filed against the makers of fen-phen. The article comes from the website of the law offices of Leiff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. Also described are the beginnings of how the class action lawsuit was started, beginning with the observations and reports of the symptoms connected with the use of fen-phen. Until reading this article, I didn’t know much about the lawsuit(s) pertaining to fen-phen. This gave me some good information, but I really didn’t use this particular article too much. I think this article is a reliable source because it does come from an attorney website. Plus the details to the lawsuit seem clear and understandable, with additional links to the specifics of the case.


Xenadrine Warnings


a href=http//www.1dietproduct.com/xenadrine5.html http//www.1dietproduct.com/xenadrine5.htmla/


This website seems to be the similar if not the actual warning label on the back of Xenadrine bottles. This shows the correct usage of this product and the risks in taking it. It also shows that if you have a history of such things as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure that you should consult a physician before taking this pill. I don’t know if I would say that this is a credible source because it is placed on an advertorial site. Surrounding the warning article, are links to purchase other products. This was a good reference to see what the manufacturers’ idea is of proper usage.


Fen-Phen Safety Update Information


a href=http//www.fda.gov/cder/news/feninfo.htmhttp//www.fda.gov/cder/news/feninfo.htma/


This is a site from the Center of Drug Evaluation and Research. Although there isn’t much information on this page, there are very helpful links attached to it. I only used a very small portion from this site, but I thought I’d add it in because of the links attached to it. I would say that this site is reliable because of the source being from the FDA.


Ephedrine Side Effects You Should Know (Ephedra)


a href=http//www.xenadrine-stacker-hydroxycut-review.com/fat-burner-basics/ephedrine-information.htmhttp//www.xenadrine-stacker-hydroxycut-review.com/fat-burner-basics/ephedrine-information.htma/


This article adds to the information given about the safety warnings with ephedra based warnings. This also stated that there were risks in taking such pills, and the possible effects of taking them. There is also a section where some research has been done and that there have been 6 reported cases of problems because of it. Next follow warnings from different agencies, and then additional recommendations. This was another article that helped in my search. It gave me more information that I could use to complete my project. I’m not sure how credible this source is because it is a review website, with nothing showing any real credentials. It was informative and a good source to use though.


Nixon sues maker of Hydroxycut for misrepresenting safety concerns of ephedra, weight loss effectiveness


a href=http//www.ago.state.mo.us/newsrls/00/070.htmhttp//www.ago.state.mo.us/newsrls/00/070.htma/


This article was really helpful to me. This came from the office of the Attorney General’s website and discussed the lawsuit filed against the makers of Hydroxycut. Like the fen-phen case, safety issues are the major concern for these pills. I used some of this information in my project regarding lawsuits to show that ephedra could be the new fen-phen since history seems to be repeating itself. I also think that this is a credible source because it comes from the Attorney General of Missouri.





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