Diet Pills that are Fat Blockers work on the digestive system as opposed to the central nervous system like stimulant-based diet pills and appetite suppressants.
How Do They Work?
Fat blockers, such as the prescription diet pill Xenical, work by preventing the lipases in your digestive system from breaking down the fat you ingest and subsequently storing it in your fat cells. With fat blockers diet pills, up to one-third of the fat you eat is harmlessly passed through your system.
By limiting the amount of fat your body stores, your body is given more of an opportunity to begin breaking down the fat that is already stored. Like drugs that affect the hypothalamus however, these pills should be taken only on a short term basis to limit the possibility of side-effects.
Chitosan is a Common Fat Blocker Ingredient
Fat Blocker type diet pills usually contain Chitosan combined with other fiber ingredients like psyllium or oat bran. Chitosan is the most important ingredient since it is the one that has been believed to absorb fat.
Chitosan is fiber which means it is not broken down and digested by the body and will just pass through your digestive tract. Since Chitosan also absorbs fat as it passes through the body, it is able to absorb the fat that it comes into contact with in the digestive tract. It supposedly takes that fat with it on the way out of the body, thus preventing the fat from being stored.
The proper way to use a Fat Blocker product is with a meal that contains saturated fat. You should take enough Chitosan to absorb whatever fat is in the meal you are eating. According to product manufacturers, Chitosan can absorb up to 7 times its weight in fat. Therefore, if your meal contains 14 grams of fat, you will need to take about 2000 mg of Chitosan.
It is said to be important to take a chitosan Fat Blocker either just before or during a meal. The reason is that the Chitosan needs to be in the digestive tract at the same time as the fat in order to be able to absorb it.
All that said, studies have found that chitosan supplementation does not trap fat in any significant way in the bodies of men and women. One study that involved 12 men and 12 women participants who took 2.5 g (2,500 mg) of Chitosan per day for 12 days, found that it would take over 7 months for men to lose 1 pound of body fat from taking chitosan supplements, while for women, no fat was trapped at all. In short, claims made about chitosan as a fat blocker have not been proven by science.
Common Side Effects
While prescription fat blockers and OTC fat blocker herbal supplements contain different ingredients, both can cause unpleasant side effects.
For instance, in the case of Xenical (Orlistat), some of the more common side effects include:
- Oily spotting on underwear
- Increased number of bowel movements
- Urgent bowel movements
- Fatty or oily stools
- Inability to control bowel movements
- Gas with discharge
- Loose stools
As for chitosan, side effects that may be experienced include:
- Mild stomach upset
Talk with Your Doctor
If you think that taking fat blockers is an ideal option for you, consult with your medical practitioner. This is not only important in the case of medication that needs to be prescribed to you, but also OTC supplements.
Inform your doctor if you have a medical condition, are currently taking medication or herbal supplements, or if you are pregnant, nursing or planning on becoming pregnant.
For more information about these products, go to the category Fat Blockers Reviews.