Understanding Fat Burning Pills

Fat burning pills are weight loss pills that contain herbal ingredients intended to boost your metabolism, increase energy and possibly even suppress your appetite. They’re intended to encourage your body to burn stored fat as fuel. They’re similar to diet pills.

Fat Burning Pills Explained

It’s hard to say if fat burning pills even work. There are very few conclusive studies on the matter. In any case, fat burning supplements aren’t standardized or regulated by the FDA, so you don’t know what you’re actually buying, whether they’re safe to use, or how they’ll react to any other medications you’re on.

Common Components of Fat Burners

Fat burning pills usually contain one of four principal active ingredients intended to raise your metabolism, give you more energy, lower your appetite and generally burn fat. These are:

  • Chitosan
  • Ephedra
  • Pyruvate
  • Hydroyxcitrate (HCA)

Side Effects of Fat Burners

Each of the different active ingredients in fat burning pills helps you lose weight in a different way. Chitosan is a substance found in the shells of sea creatures. It binds to fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, E and K, to stop your body from absorbing them. However, medically professionals believe that this has no effect on body fat percentage and may be harmful to your heatlh.

Ephedra is a Chinese herb used to treat respiratory ailments, like asthma and allergies. It’s also sold as a weight loss supplement, a performance enhancer and an energy booster. The FDA has received a long list of complaints about bad side effects associated with Ephedra products. Negative side effects of Ephedra include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Headaches
  • Heart attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Strokes
  • Death

The FDA states that these problems often arose in healthy, young or middle aged people using the supplement to help them lose weight.

Pyruvate is a by-product that occurs as your body turns food into glucose for fuel. It’s supposed to help burn body fat and promote weight loss, reduce cholesterol and improve endurance. There is no research to support these claims or to prove that the supplement is safe.

HCA is a food substance extracted from the fruit of the Garcina combogia tree that grows in India. It suppresses appetite and increases glycogen storage. However, studies show that it’s ineffective for weight loss.

Be Careful with Fat Burners

The FDA does not control the manufacture and distribution of most fat burning pills. Weight loss pills may not be safe, and there is little scientific evidence to support their efficacy.

Different kinds of diet pills work according to different theories. Fat burning pills, or liptropics, claim to help your body use stored fat as fuel, just as it does when you increase your heart rate through vigorous exercise for longer than twenty minutes.

Another class of weight loss pill works on the theory of thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process by which your body creates more energy when your metabolic rate increases. Some weight loss pills contain caffeine and salicin, from which aspirin is derived. These drugs may be safer as the effects of their ingredients are more well known.

When taking any kind of fat burning pill, let your doctor know. Drink plenty of water, eat regular meals, and don’t take pills containing stimulants like caffeine in the evening, as they might keep you awake.


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