Archive for the ‘Supplements’ Category

Study Shows Alpha-Lipoic Acid Reduces Triglycerides

At Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, a study was conducted that demonstrates how Alpha-lipoic acid can be effective in reducing trigycerides. The study was conducted by Dr. Regis Moreau and colleagues (Judy A. Butler and Tory M. Hagen). High triglyceride levels will often occur in obesity and can lead to liver disease, atherosclerosis and premature mortality. Triglyceride levels can be reduced with proper diet and exercise, but these measures are not always effective for everyone.

In the 5-week study, rats were bred to be obese and diabetic. When the rats were 5 weeks old, they were given 200 mg of Alpha-lipoic acid per day per kg of body weight. A control group of rats were given the same diet without the Alpha-lipoic acid. The study showed that although the triglyceride levels in the rats that were given the Alpha-lipoic acid doubled, the triglyceride levels of the control group quadrupled. This demonstrated that Alpha-lipoic acid can be effective in lowering triglycerides.

The study was cited in an articled published February 20, 2009 in the online journal: Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (“Lipoic acid improves hypertriglyceridemia by stimulating triacylglycerol clearance and downregulating liver triacylglycerol secretion” In the article, Dr. Moreau states,”The extent of triglyceride reduction was really dramatic, we didn’t expect it to be this profound.”

FDA Adds 28 Weight Loss Products To Unsafe List

On December 22, 2008, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) added 28 products to its list of weight loss products it considers to be unsafe (ref: This update is the second update to the original list, bringing the total number of products on the list up to 72.

The FDA is expanding its nationwide alert to consumers about tainted weight loss pills that contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Some of the products added to the list are:

  • 7 Day Herbal Slim
  • Extrim Plus
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim
  • Slimtech
  • Superslim

The unsafe products are on the list because they were found to contain harmful pharmaceutical ingredients. Some of the ingredients found were:

  • bumetanide
  • cetilistat
  • fenproporex
  • fluoxetine
  • furosemide
  • sibutramine

A December 22, 2008 press release from the FDA states that the health risks posed by these products “can be serious”, for example sibutramine, which was found in many of the products, can cause “high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia (rapid heart beat), palpitations, heart attack or stroke” (ref:

Appetite Suppressants

It is my opinion that the use of appetite suppressant pills to lose weight, especially those with stimulative effects and whether available over the counter or by prescription, should be avoided if possible. As recently as 2004 ephedra (ma huang) was banned from dietary supplements. It was widely sold and used and was eventually linked to serious side effects and some deaths.

There is a very large and profitable market for dietary supplements. While I do take vitamins and some supplements, I avoid all appetite suppressant pills because of the inevitable “drug rebound effect” that occurs (“the characteristic of a drug to produce reverse effects when the effect of the drug has passed or the patient no longer responds to it” – ref:

Diet pills may work for a short time, but eventually it weakens the body’s own mechanisms to deal with hunger because it is being supplanted by artificial means. The only solution is to withdraw from the pills – along with experiencing hunger – and to develop a sensible eating plan involving natural foods to give the body a chance to strengthen itself naturally.

Certain foods will act as natural appetite suppressants. Flaxseeds, oatmeal (not instant oatmeal), soups, salads and “green drinks” (made with chlorella, spirulina, barley greens or berry greens) are some of the best foods to stave off hunger. These foods are loaded with high quality nourishment that will increase energy and help keep you from being hungry.