The term natural diet pills is a broad one that is used to describe diet pills ranging from herbal to stimulant-based. In fact, in the non-prescription diet pills market, the term natural is used abundantly because most ingredients in over-the-counter diet pills are in fact made from plant ingredients. Popular stimulants, such as caffeine and the banned drug Ephedra, not to mention illegal drugs such as Cocaine and Opium, would also be considered “natural” by these definitions.
What Are Natural Diet Pills?
So, what would constitute a Natural diet pill? The term natural diet pills generally refers to non-pharmaceutical herbal dietary supplements. Herbal supplements are often labeled “all natural”. As such, they fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and are regulated differently from over-the-counter drugs. For this reason, they do not receive FDA approval, so it is up to consumers to do their own research into whether a formula is appropriate for them.
Common Ingredients in Natural Diet Pills
Common ingredients found in natural diet pills include:
- Chitosan – this is a derivative of chitin, which is a substance found in the shells of sea creatures such as shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. It cannot be digested and passes through your body without adding any calories. It is supposed to reduce fat absorption because its chemical nature makes it to bind with fatty foods, removing some of the fat from your body. However, studies have found it no more effective in weight loss than a placebo. And according to a study by HealthWatch, an independent watch-dog group, there was no measurable increase in the amount of fat excreted after taking this product. In addition, it may be dangerous, by inhibiting your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients such as the fat-soluble vitamins A and D and certain phyto-chemicals found in vegetables and fruit.
- Chromium (GTF Chromium/Chromium Picolinate) – this is a trace mineral that may help reduce sugar cravings and regulate appetite by stabilizing blood sugar levels. The evidence on chromium as a weight loss aid is still inconclusive, but some health practitioners do advocate it as part of an entire weight loss program. It won’t help you lose weight by itself, but if you take it along with changing your diet and adding exercise, it may be helpful. (Make sure to follow the recommended dosage, as an overdose of this mineral can lead to kidney damage.)
- Guggul (Guggulsterones) – is a resin which is produced by the stem of the commiphora mukul tree, a relatively small, thorny plant native to India. In some studies, guggul reportedly has shown to increase the production of the thyroid hormone. Since this hormone is involved in the cells’ breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, theoretically this herb should promote weight loss. However, more research is needed to substantiate the effects of guggul supplementation on weight loss.
- Bladderwrack – this is a kind of seaweed that contains a high amount of iodine, which may stimulate the thyroid. Unless you know you have an iodine deficiency, it is not a really good idea to take this.
- St. John’s Wort – primarily used to fight depression, this herb has not been proven effective for weight loss and can actually be dangerous. If you take St. John’s wort, you need to avoid certain medications such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, and foods containing tyramine such as wine, cheese and aged meats.
- White Willow Bark – this herb contains the active ingredient in aspirin. It may work for a headache, but it is not proven effective for weight loss.
- Dietary Fiber – the idea behind taking products with dietary fiber is that they will make you feel full, so you supposedly eat less. They also aid in elimination, which can help with detoxification.
- Pectin – this is a soluble fiber that occurs naturally in such fruits as apples, pears, and bananas. Pectin’s actual effect on appetite may vary for different people.
- Guar Gum – a dietary fiber obtained from the Indian cluster bean, guar gum is used in many foods as a thickening agent. This fiber is supposed to make you feel full like pectin, but it can cause gastrointestinal disorders and fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
- Glucomannan – derived from the konjac root, it can absorb a great deal of water and thus promote a feeling of fullness.
- Fenugreek Seeds – contain 40% soluble fiber, which has the same effects as listed above. Fenugreek seeds may also reduce blood glucose levels.
For more information about these products, go to the category Natural Diet Pills Reviews.