Featured Weight Loss Supplements Article
Effects Of Weight Loss Supplements On The Heart
Many of the heavily marketed products available in retail stores or online come with concerns about the effects of weight loss supplements on the heart. Improper use of supplements or use of supplements that are not correct for a person's situation can lead to serious health complications.
Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health report that there are more than 50 individual dietary supplements and more than 125 commercial combination products available for weight loss. The number is growing. Much of the concern, in recent years, has been with one particular ingredient. Studies found evidence of modest weight loss associated with ephedra-caffeine ingestion. But potentially serious adverse effects led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of these products.
In testimony before a Senate committee, the government's director of public health issues said that little is known about whether weight loss supplements are effective. But the director did note that there are definite effects of weight loss supplements on the heart. "People with certain underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, may be particularly at risk." In making the report, this government official noted that the ingredients in ephedra have a potentially powerful stimulant effect on the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
A study conducted following this report showed that ephedra-free weight loss supplements have significant cardiovascular stimulant actions, similar to ephedra. These effects are not likely caused by C. aurantium (bitter orange) alone but may be attributable to caffeine and other stimulants in the multi-component formulation. Even some of the so-called natural products are causing concern about effects of weight loss supplements on the heart.
Note: There are other products advertised as healthy supplements that may not have the same adverse effects of weight loss supplements on the heart. However, individuals are urged to consult with their physician before using these products: conjugated linoleic acid, ginseng, glucomannan, green tea, hydroxycitric acid, L-carnitine, psyllium, pyruvate, and St. John's wort.
A second study (2005) also shows that ephedra-free weight loss supplements have significant cardiovascular stimulant effects similar to those of ephedra, according to the results of a trial reported in an issue of the American Journal of Medicine. "Ephedra-free weight loss dietary supplements containing bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), a botanical source of the adrenergic amines synephrine and octopamine, have quickly emerged on consumer markets to replace banned ephedra products," write Christine A. Haller, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues. "These supplements may have some of the health risks associated with ephedra, but studies in humans are lacking."
That's why most reputable suppliers and nearly every health professional recommend talking with your doctor. You should be concerned about effects of weight loss supplements on the heart. In addition, every individual concerned with weight loss should gather plenty of information about this subject before choosing a supplement of any kind.