What you NEED to know about diet pills

Everything you need to know before reaching for diet and weight loss supplements


by Fiona Day |
Published on

Following the death of a British student, Interpol have issued a global alert of a certain brand of diet pills.

Following the tragedy, it emerged that 21-year-old Eloise Parry had taken an overdose of diet pills containing potentially fatal ingredient DNP.

Why do people take them?

People take diet pills to boost performance in the gym or help speed up their metabolism. They can be ordered online, which means that many dieters do not know exactly where the products come from or what they contain.

But are ALL diet pills dangerous? Should we avoid them completely?

Many people attribute diet supplements to their dramatic weight loss, but the important thing to remember is that many of them can lead to dangerous and distressing side effects.

Side effects include palpitations, nausea, tremors, feelings of anxiety and diarrhoea.

Diet pills promise to help you lose weight- but at what cost?

What do they contain?

Most diet pills contain caffeine and green tea extract. Though they are regulated, there are often no guidelines specifying who can take the pills and what health effects to look out for- negative or otherwise.

What are their effects?

Those who take diet pills note a huge boost in energy, which makes them feel they are putting in 110% into their regular work out. Those who take them are almost certainly going to lose weight, but they may also suffer other unpleasant side effects.

Most companies encourage those taking supplements to follow a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regime.

Caffeine-based diet pills can interrupt your natural sleeping pattern and cause your energy levels to crash once they have worn off, making withdrawal feel very real.

What is the recommended dosage?

It’s important to NEVER take more than the recommended dosage. Even some recommended daily doses could prove slightly too much.

How can they be harmful?

Professor Rowland Jung from Ninewells Hospital in Tayside warned dieters about the dangers of using supplements and diet pills.

He told the Mail Online“Many of these herbal slimming pills are a gimmick. There is no scientifically controlled evidence to prove that they work.

“In the case of diuretics - where the body eliminates water through urine - there is no evidence that shows people can lose weight through water. People can lose too much water and this can cause the kidney to shut down.

“Too many laxatives - chemicals that stimulate bowel movement - can lead to bowel disease. The bacteria in the gut changes and fails to protect the gut walls.”

Are they addictive?

The pills aren’t so much as addictive as the effects are. Users can also experience feelings of anxiety which can lead to them feeling ‘addicted’ to the pills.

Do they even work?

Harry, a personal trainer from West Lothian based gym Personal Best says that diet pills should ideally be avoided.

“It’s effectively like taking an energy drink. Other ingredients in it too though but basically works as a stimulant like caffeine.”

“They often have caffeine in them or other stimulants which would explain the extra boost in training.

“I wouldn’t recommend diet pills at all. They don't teach you anything so when you go off them you have the same habits as before."

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