Top Weight Loss Pills: Information & Safety

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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There are countless weight loss pills and supplements on the market, all of which promise fast results based on their unique formulas. Some offer more benefits than others. So, how do you know which will work for you? It’s important to know the difference so that you can make an informed decision.

If you are looking to include weight loss pills in your daily regimen, it is advisable to talk to your doctor. This is especially important if you have any health conditions, take medications, or are pregnant or breast-feeding. Weight loss pills may also interfere with medications. Keeping that in mind, let us look at the top weight loss pills in the market.

Weight Loss Pills: Info & Safety

We have selected the 10 best weight loss pills and fast-acting supplements available for those trying to shed pounds. The top options (both natural and pharmaceutical) include raspberry ketones, garcinia cambogia extract, Orlistat, PhenQ, glucomannan, green tea extract, caffeine, synephrine, and Anvarol, among others.

PhenQ

According to its manufacturers, PhenQ can improve metabolic speed, decrease appetite, boost energy levels, and increase fat-burning processes in the body. It has been one of the best-selling weight-loss pills in recent years. Among other ingredients, it also contains high levels of L-carnitine, caffeine, and calcium carbonate.

Word of caution: Side effects of this supplement are limited, but they aren’t recommended for those suffering from depression, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, various cancers, and autoimmune disorders. Always speak with your doctor about potential PhenQ interactions with other medications you may be taking.

Glucomannan

This is a water-soluble dietary fiber that is known to increase feelings of fullness by bulking up in your gut and reducing the size of your subsequent meals. It is also very low in calories, making it a popular supplement when on a diet. Glucomannan essentially sponges up water in the gut, thereby suppressing the appetite through the release of the satiety hormone, leptin.

Word of caution: Side effects include flatulence, bloating, belching, diarrhea, and general stomach upset. Negative interactions are possible if you have high cholesterol or diabetes. Speak to your doctor before using this supplement.

Woman holding pills in one hand and veggies in the other

There are countless weight loss pills & supplements, all of which promise fast results. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Caffeine

While pure caffeine supplements are often called into question for their inclusion of controversial substances, such as Ephedra, it is included in many weight loss pills. As a stimulant, caffeine does deliver a burst of energy and can increase your metabolism for a short time, as discussed in this article from the International Journal of Obesity. Caffeine-containing supplements and pills can also help to suppress the appetite, but should only be consumed in moderation, just as you would when consuming coffee or tea.

Word of caution: Side effects of caffeine include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, sleeplessness, anxiety, irritation, and heightened heart rate.

Orlistat

This pharmaceutical drug works by preventing fat from breaking down in your gut, meaning that you will take in fewer calories from fat. Additionally, it is found to lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of diabetes, both of which can be exacerbated by obesity.

Word of caution: Despite the efficacy of this supplement, the side effects can be rather severe, including oily and loose stools, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and hard to control bowel movements. Taking this supplement for a long period may also lead to certain nutrient deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins.

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is a small green fruit whose skin contains high concentrations of hydroxycitric acid, the main component of garcinia cambogia extract. This organic acid can reduce cravings and boost levels of serotonin in the body, while also inhibiting a fat-producing enzyme, thus leading to gradual weight loss. The effects are not as drastic as some of the other pills on this list, but the organic nature of the pill makes it a popular weight loss supplement.

Word of caution: Side effects can include mild dry mouth, dizziness, headaches, and some gastrointestinal distress, nausea, and vomiting.

Anvarol

This product produces the same results as a popular steroid for body-builders, Anavar. The manufacturers claim to have eliminated the negative side effects. It is believed to retain lean muscle, increase fat-burning, and boost energy levels, helping athletes and bodybuilders work even harder. Composed of yam root, adenosine triphosphate, whey protein, soy protein, and BCAAs (valine and isoleucine), the last of which are known to help build muscle and burn fat.

Word of caution: Side effects include allergic reactions to whey and soy protein, as well as bloating, cramps, fatigue, and headaches. BCAAs can also cause drowsiness and fatigue. Use with caution, and speak with your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions.

Synephrine

Synephrine is a naturally occurring chemical found in high concentrations in the peels of citrus fruits. Synephrine affects the liver and is believed to prevent the conversion of sugar into fat, and increases the breakdown of glucose. Studies have found that it reduces post-prandial blood sugar spikes and stimulates the burning of fats in the body. It is also anti-inflammatory and may help lower oxidative stress.

Word of caution: Side effects can include insomnia, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, and heart rate, as well as gastrointestinal distress.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is known to help in weight loss efforts by helping your body burn calories more effectively. Some of the active ingredients in this extract supplement are caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both of which have been shown to boost metabolism in numerous research studies, including this study published in Clinical Nutrition. This can help with additional calorie and fat-burning. Additionally, this extract can stimulate the activity of norepinephrine in the body because EGCG inhibits an enzyme that breaks down that stimulating neurotransmitter.

Word of caution: There is a range of mild side effects that some people experience, including irritability, difficulty sleeping, vomiting, nausea, stomach upset, irregular heartbeat, tremors, confusion, and increased heart rate.

Phentermine

This is a pharmaceutical amphetamine that is known to suppress the appetite, helping you consume less at meals and decrease your calorie intake every day. When combined with other fat-burning pills and elevated activity levels, it can help to speed up the weight-loss process. This is typically recommended for people who are already obese, and not those who are looking to shave off a few extra pounds.

Word of caution: Side effects have been reported, including dizziness, headache, numbness, or confusion. These side-effects can be serious and should be discussed with a doctor. Other minor side effects include dry mouth, loss of sexual desire/performance, redness of the skin, and constipation.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Despite being a type of ‘healthy’ trans fat, conjugated linoleic acid is one of the more widely researched and trusted weight-loss supplements in recent years. Found naturally in butter and cheese, when used as a concentrated supplement, it can boost the metabolism, stimulate fat breakdown in the body and suppress the appetite. These are three features that can lead to weight loss.

Word of caution: Some of the common side effects are gastrointestinal distress, headache, backache, and nausea. Avoid this supplement you have diabetes, metabolic problems, or a bleeding disorder. Anyone with chronic disease should speak to their doctor before adding this weight loss pill to their regimen.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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