With so many weight loss supplements, pills, potions and mixes being marketed these days, it can be difficult to know if any are actually safe, not to mention effective. While exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to lose weight and keep it off, some people will still be tempted to take shortcuts and try weight-loss pills. If this is true for you or someone you care for, be sure to avoid products with these ingredients:
- Chitosan: A derivative of chitin, a substance found in the shells of insects, crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans. Claimed to bind fat, chitosan may inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients in humans.
- Pyruvate: A naturally occurring enzyme that allegedly forces every cell in the body to work harder. Although it sounds promising, there is little evidence that it works.
- Ephedra (ma huang): The active chemical in ma huang is ephedrine, which has been banned by the FDA, and can be dangerous when combined with other stimulants or included in weight loss products.
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