Dietary Supplements

Everywhere you turn these days, you see advertisements for dietary supplements. Miracle pills that claim to melt the pounds away, liquid protein diets that miraculously shed ten pounds in a week.

What is the real story behind these miracle pills, powders or liquids? Are these dietary supplements safe to use when you are losing weight? Do they live up to their claims?

Dietary supplements comes in many forms; vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, herbs and powders. How do you know which diet supplement is the right one? Which one will work? These diet supplements spout attractive headers such as; “Eat all you want and lose weight!” or “Lose Weight While You Sleep!”

Most Americans are overweight. Some are looking for quick fixes to a problem that did not occur overnight. Unscrupulous companies are abundant, taking advantage of you, offering you a miracle in a can.

Before you start taking any weight loss product consult your doctor! Choose wisely what diet supplement you take. Research the product carefully. Last year, over 33 billion dollars were spent on weight- loss control products!

Be aware that if a dietary supplement says it is “Natural” or lists herbs as the main ingredient, this does not necessarily mean that the diet supplement is safe. Many times, it is a gimmick used to lure you in to buy a product that does not work.

Some diet supplements can even be dangerous. After the airwaves are flooded with the latest, greatest diet supplement around, it is not uncommon later on to find the FDA announcing the product has been recalled.

Remember Fen-phen? A friend of mine took Fen-phen for months. He ended up with major heart problems, and a settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the maker. Fen-phen contained both Redux and Pondimum. The combination proved deadly to the health of the heart.

Diet pills can contain high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine is addictive, and therefore over-the-counter abuse can begin before you know it.

On the prescription side, Prozac is prescribed by doctors to their patients who want to lose weight. Unfortunately, studies show that the weight loss is temporary. Side effects included: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, night sweats and hot flashes.

If you are obese, you should consult your doctor. Discuss a safe and long-term weight-loss goal with him. But most people, with a buffet of dietary supplements to choose from over-the counter, will skip the doctor and attempt to lose weight all by themselves. This may not only prove frustrating, but sometimes it can be harmful to your health.

Green Tea and Cayenne Pepper

Currently, two popular diet supplements are Green Tea and Cayenne Pepper.


There are studies out showing Green Tea can help suppress an appetite because it boosts the metabolism. An added bonus, Green Tea is an antioxidant possessing properties that addresses certain cancers.

Green Tea contains caffeine and should not be abused. Drinking to much Green Tea can cause nerves to be over-stimulated, promote insomnia and make one anxious and irritable. You should not drink Green Tea if you are on estrogen therapy or taking birth control pills.


Cayenne Pepper is believed to speed up metabolism and help the digestive system. Standard use is 10 grams of Cayenne Pepper with each meal. This is said to promote weight loss and also prevent the forming of stomach ulcers. Side effects are a slight burning of the mouth. If taken in excess it can cause liver and kidney damage.

These are just two of the many dietary supplements available on the market today. You need to choose wisely and remember too consult your doctor!

Don’t be fooled by pills and powders that come with instructions on eating sensibly, drinking a lot of water and exercising. Chances are the pills/powders have nothing to do with why you lose the weight.

Weight Loss Tips

So how do you lose weight and not get caught up in the “Dietary Pill Craze?”

  • Do you drink soda? For every glass of soda you enjoy, drink two glasses of water.
  • Going to the mall? Park in a slot far enough way from the main entrance to allow you to walk. When you walk, walk briskly.
  • Carry small weights around with you in your pockets as you are doing your housework
  • Do two laps around the mall (window shopping) before you shop.
  • Eat sensibly. If you do fast food, stop super-sizing, or soon you will be super-sizing your waist line!
  • In a glass of water, add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Sip with meals.
  • Take a walk after dinner. Do this on a daily/weekly basis. You will be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Recommended reading: The Diet Pill Guide by Deborah R. Mitchell and David Charles Dodson, M.D.The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines by Michael Murray, N.D.