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Do Diet Pills Work?

Diet pills
So, Do Diet Pills Work?

By Valerie Mellema

When you're trying to lose weight, it can be difficult to do it simply by exercising and trying to reduce calories or eat healthier. Diet drugs have come a long way since the addictive amphetamine diet pills of the 50s. There have also been various other dangerous diet pills that have come across drugstore counters in the past few decades, like fen-phen and ephedra. With all of the dangerous diet pills of the past, researchers have sought a diet pill that is also healthy and safe.

With all of this research, enter Alli. This diet pill is designed to block the absorption of dietary fat. It is the first FDA approved diet pill and it is available without a prescription. Another diet pill is waiting in line at the FDA as well, including Zimulti. This prescription pill is designed to help the waistline as well as improve cholesterol.

While diet pills offer hope for those who need a kick start into weight loss, it is important to remember that they aren't free passes to eat all the chocolate chip cookies and ice cream that you want and they definitely don't mean you can sit on the couch and melt the pounds away. With any diet pill, nutrition and exercise is very important. The medications also come with some "treatment effects" as well as side effects. These range from diarrhea to depression. Here's the skinny on some of today's most popular diet pills.

Alli Diet Pills

Alli was originally the prescription drug Xenical. It is now available over the counter as Alli and in a lower dosage. This diet pill is taken up to three times a day with meals and prevents you from digesting 25% of the fat that you consume. The amount of fat you block can easily add up to 100 to 200 calories blocked per day for some people.

If you eat too much fat, you're likely to experience oily stools from fat being quickly excreted if you consume more than 15 grams of fat per meal. In some cases, you'll actually leak and have diarrhea.


This is a prescription diet pill that acts on your appetite control center in the brain. This drug is designed to make you eat less and alters the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. People on this diet pill have lost about ten pounds more.

The downside to this drug is that it can raise blood pressure. It was actually banned in Italy about five years ago because there were adverse reactions to it. The FDA is also monitoring this diet pill's safety.


This diet pill has been available in Europe since 2006 as Acomplia. It is currently being reviewed by the FDA. This drug works on the brain's endocannabinoid system. This is the area of the brain regulating food intake and energy expenditure. The drug helps to shut off your appetite by reducing levels of insulin, which promotes fat storage. Diabetics who took the drug were able to lose two and a half times more weight. For example, 15 pounds instead of 6 pounds.

Individuals who took this drug were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Some experts question whether the drug is safe for people who have depression. Those people who are clinically obese with high levels of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol and have no history of anxiety or depression are considered the best candidates for this drug.