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Fat Burner Frenzy
The Lure of Thermogenic Pills and Potions

Burn the fat away! Can pills really do that?
Burn the fat away! Can pills really do that?

Drugs that promise fat burning, weight loss or "thermogenic" effects have been around for several decades.

In the 1990s it was fen-phen, the drug combination of fenfluramine & phentermine. Pharmaceutical companies sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of product while ignoring warnings of side effects including a potentially fatal lung disease and heart valve problems.

It wasn't until doctors released echocardiogram results from patients taking both drugs that the extent of the problem emerged. Physicians found that approximately 30 percent of patients taking the drug combination had abnormal echocardiograms, even though they had no immediate symptoms.

In 1997 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested fen-phen be taken off the market.

As one drug disappeared, another was quick to fill the gap. A plant known to the Chinese as ma huang was marketed to Americans under the name ephedra. The Ephedra sinica plant and other ephedra species increased heart rate, narrowed blood vessels (increasing blood pressure) and expanded bronchial tubes (making breathing easier.) Body heat went up and metabolism increased.

Because ephedra was sold as a supplement and not a drug, there was no government oversight needed when it was released to the public. When companies sell you a supplement, there are three critical areas where the government is NOT involved.

  • The government does not make sure supplements are tested to prove they actually work. You are supposed to trust the manufacturer's word that whatever they say their product does is true.

  • The government does NOT test supplements to make sure they contain the ingredients listed on the label. They leave it up to the manufacturers to be honest about what goes into each bottle.

  • The government does NOT make sure supplements are tested for safety. It's the manufacturer's responsibility to make sure the product you're buying won't harm you.

Companies that made ephedra supplements had little research to back up their claims, but customers could feel their heart rate increase and clinical studies did show people who took ephedra lost an average of two pounds a month more than placebo takers. The plant also has an addictive quality so once people start taking it, they want to keep on taking it, further boosting sales.

Problems started to emerge almost as soon as ephedra became popular, but because it's a supplement and not a "drug" there was little oversight. Supplement companies were free to mix as little, or as much of the ephedra into each dose and customers had no way to evaluate what levels might be appropriate.

The best-selling brand of ephedra supplement was made by the company Metabolife, and they received over 14,000 complaints of "adverse events" associated with their product. Initially Metabolife withheld the complaints from the FDA. After all, why risk sales because of a few upset customers?

Over time researchers found that ephedra can cause heart attacks, stroke and even death. People who take ephedra are between 100 and 700 times MORE likely to have a significant adverse reaction than people who take supplements like kava or Ginkgo biloba.

The FDA finally banned ephedra-containing supplements on April 12, 2004. But it didn't end there. A lawsuit overturned the ban on April 14, 2005. The FDA appealed the ruling and the ban on ephedra was reinstated august 17, 2006. That ban remains in place to this day.

That created a problem for companies that sold "fat burners." With their star ingredient gone, they had to find a replacement. Many started adding undeclared drugs or chemicals to their supplements. But by putting them in without authorization, the doses are wildly inconsistent, the side effects aren't noted on the labels and you, the customer, have no idea what's in each bottle.

The FDA has found undeclared drugs or chemicals in more than 70 weight loss supplements listed on the right.

How can you protect yourself? The FDA offers very simple advice. They list these clear signs of health fraud.

  • Promises of an "easy" fix for problems like excess weight, hair loss, or impotency.

  • Claims such as "scientific breakthrough," "miraculous cure," "secret ingredient," and "ancient remedy."

  • Impressive-sounding terms, such as "hunger stimulation point" and "thermogenesis" for a weight loss product.

  • Claims that the product is safe because it is "natural."
If you see a product that advertises "thermogenic," "fat burning" or "rapid weight loss" DO NOT BUY IT. They are either lying, endangering your life with undocumented drugs or both.

Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

8/31/2013

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  • Tainted Weight Loss Products!
    (From the FDA Website.)

    FDA laboratory tests have revealed the presence of sibutramine, fenproporex, fluoxetine, bumetanide, furosemide, phenytoin, rimonabant, cetilistat, and phenolphthalein in weight loss products being sold over-the-counter. The tainted products are listed below in alphabetical order along with the undeclared drug and/or chemical ingredient.

    Product(s) Name

    1. 2 Day Diet - sibutramine
    2. 2 Day Diet Slim Advance - sibutramine
    3. 2x Powerful Slimming - sibutramine
    4. 3 Day Diet - sibutramine
    5. 3 Days Fit - sibutramine
    6. 3x Slimming Power – sibutramine, phenytoin
    7. 5x Imelda Perfect Slimming - sibutramine
    8. 7 Day Herbal Slim - sibutramine
    9. 7 Days Diet - sibutramine
    10. 7 Diet - sibutramine
    11. 7 Diet Day/Night Formula - sibutramine
    12. 8 Factor Diet – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    13. Eight Factor Diet - sibutramine
    14. 21 Double Slim - sibutramine
    15. 24 Hours Diet – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    16. 999 Fitness Essence - sibutramine
    17. BioEmagrecim, sample 1 – fenproporex
    BioEmagrecim, sample 2 – fluoxetine, furosemide
    18. Body Creator – sibutramine
    19. Body Shaping - sibutramine
    20. Body Slimming - sibutramine
    21. Cosmo Slim - sibutramine
    22. Extrim Plus – sibutramine, phenytoin
    23. Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn - sibutramine
    24. Fasting Diet - sibutramine
    25. Fatloss Slimming – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    26. GMP – sibutramine
    27. Herbal Xenicol - cetilistat
    28. Imelda Fat Reducer - sibutramine
    29. Imelda Perfect Slim – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    30. JM Fat Reducer - sibutramine
    31. Lida DaiDaihua - sibutramine
    32. Meili - sibutramine
    33. Meizitang - sibutramine
    34. Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang - sibutramine
    35. Miaozi Slim Capsules - sibutramine
    36. Natural Model - sibutramine
    37. Perfect Slim - sibutramine
    38. Perfect Slim 5x – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    39. Perfect Slim Up – sibutramine
    40. Phyto Shape - rimonabant
    41. Powerful Slim - sibutramine
    42. ProSlim Plus - sibutramine
    43. Reduce Weihgt - sibutramine
    44. Royal Slimming Formula – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    45. Sana Plus - sibutramine
    46. Slim 3 in 1 - sibutramine
    47. Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula - sibutramine
    48. Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula - sibutramine
    49. Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet - sibutramine
    50. Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula - sibutramine
    51. Slim Burn - sibutramine
    52. Slim Express 4 in 1 - sibutramine
    53. Slim Express 360 - sibutramine
    54. *Slim Fast - sibutramine
    55. Slim Tech - sibutramine
    56. Slim Up - sibutramine
    57. Slim Waist Formula - sibutramine
    58. Slim Waistline – sibutramine
    59. Slimbionic- sibutramine
    60. Sliminate - sibutramine
    61. Slimming Formula - sibutramine
    62. Somotrim – sibutramine
    63. Starcaps - bumetanide
    64. Super Fat Burner - sibutramine
    65. Superslim – sibutramine, phenolphthalein
    66. Super Slimming - sibutramine
    67. Trim 2 Plus - sibutramine
    68. Triple Slim - sibutramine
    69. Venom Hyperdrive 3.0 - sibutramine
    70. Waist Strength Formula – sibutramine
    71. Xsvelten - sibutramine
    72. Zhen de Shou – sibutramine, phenolphthalein

    * This product should not be confused with the line of meal replacement and related products marketed as conventional foods under the brand name "Slim-Fast®". The manufacturer of Slim-Fast®, Unilever United States, Inc., maintains that the Slim Fast product which appears on this list is not in any way associated with, sponsored or approved by, or otherwise related in any way to the Slim-Fast® brand of meal replacement and related products.

    FDA is taking action to help ensure that these products and other products containing undeclared prescription ingredients are removed from the marketplace. FDA has inspected a number of firms associated with the sale of these products and is currently seeking recalls of these products. FDA may take additional enforcement steps to include warning letters, seizure, injunction, or criminal charges.