Shedding Pounds With Supplements

Reaching a healthy body mass index (BMI) through weight loss is a common goal for the average American adult. Statistics show that 1 in 3 are overweight, and 42% are obese. A high body fat percentage is also an underlying cause of many lifestyle diseases. While some people aim to lose weight for health reasons, many do so for aesthetic or social reasons. The demand for weight loss has created a rise in hundreds of supplements on the market. Patients often need clarification about choosing the best option and turn to pharmacists for advice. Any individual considering weight loss supplements should ask these 3 questions first.


1. How effective is the product?

Weight loss supplements combine herbs, vitamins, minerals, and several other artificial ingredients which claim to help lose weight. However, weight loss supplements cannot guarantee weight loss. The supplement industry is not regulated by government agencies, and weight loss manufacturers are not obligated to prove the supplements are effective. Pharmacists are health professionals with a deep understanding of ingredients used in medicine and supplements. The pharmacist can review the active ingredients and advise on the supplement’s effectiveness. Moreover, the pharmacist can recommend a preferred supplement with targeted ingredients that may give the best results.

2. Any medication interactions?

More than 66% of Americans take prescription medication or other supplements. When adding another supplement, there is always a risk of drug interactions. Ask a pharmacist if a weight loss supplement is safe to take with any current prescriptions. The pharmacist can perform a medication review and highlight any potentially harmful combinations. Medication reviews are short sessions where the pharmacist looks at all the patient’s medications. Some of the combined effects of certain ingredients are still unknown. The pharmacist can point out any possible concerns and advise alternatives if needed.

3. Are there any side effects?

Safety should be a significant concern for all individuals, especially when starting a new supplement. Medication and weight loss supplements all have side effects. While some are mild, others can be harmful and even life-threatening. The pharmacist can look at the ingredients and point out any concerns. As new weight loss supplements are constantly hitting the market, some possible side effects may not yet be known. Even if the supplement seems safe, seek medical advice immediately if there are any unpleasant side effects.

The weight loss secret

Supplements designed to help with weight loss employ strong marketing tactics to encourage people to buy. These supplements claim to provide quick results, using anecdotal evidence as proof. However, the many ingredients in these supplements are often not well studied. Pharmacists can identify harmful ingredients and even confirm whether the safe ingredients will be effective. Weight loss supplements should only be used with a healthy diet and exercise. As an abundance of caution, speak with a pharmacist first before proceeding.


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