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Are Weight Loss Enhancement Products Putting Your Health at Risk?

Close up to woman's feet with nail polish standing on a weighing scale with the word

Most of us believe we could probably lose a few pounds, not only to look and feel better, but to also live a healthier life. A myriad of weight loss techniques are available to us – from diets, protein shakes, fat-burning workouts to surgical solutions and supplements.

As consumers, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements in magazines and on television that show us that being thin is in – and, being overweight is out. Of course, it all depends on whether you’re comfortable in your own skin or not. It’s all a matter of personal choice and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either one.

Are these products safe?

However, if you’ve decided to shed a few pounds, you may have opted to go the route of weight loss enhancement products to speed things along should regular exercise and diet not be working quickly enough. But, how much do you know about these products? Are they safe or could they be putting your health at risk?

We hope to answer those questions and a few more by pointing out a few facts about these products.

Does the product have FDA approval?

While it isn’t illegal to sell these items without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the products must be safe and prove the accuracy of the claims they make. But, under certain conditions, the FDA will step in quickly, if they suspect the contents to be harmful or unsafe. Should an investigation be launched and a danger to consumers be discovered, the product will be recalled and removed from store shelves.

As of 2008, over 400 products have been recalled due to related concerns. Products aimed at perfecting the body, such as these, may conceal substances that could lead to serious illness. Of the 400 recalled products, 40 are for losing weight, 70 claiming enhancements to sexual performance, and 80 for building muscles stronger and faster.

Heeding warnings from the FDA

When the FDA advises consumers to avoid what they deem to be a dangerous product, you should heed the warning. It could be certain supplements have been found to be tainted with hazardous chemicals, additives or even prescription drugs. According to the FDA, new products on the market that claim to provide life-altering results should also be used with caution.

That’s because, although a particular product is still on the market, it doesn’t mean the FDA isn’t gathering information to make a determination as to that product’s safety. At the first sign of an adverse reaction – Stop using the product immediately! You may even report the side effects to the FDA for further testing and data gathering on the product.

Risk of buying foreign products

There’s a risk in buying foreign weight loss products. They tend to be cheaper, but these products are also less likely to follow any of the safety rules and regulations the FDA has imposed to keep consumers safe. Not only could you be buying a product inferior to a similar product sold in the U.S., you could be putting your health at risk.

Safety issues

Several supplements with safety issues have been reported by the FDA to potentially cause:

•    Liver damage
•    Stroke
•    Heart tremors
•    Kidney failure
•    Loss of life, in extreme cases

Although each individual is different, the FDA advises to be aware of these conditions as possible risks.

Weight loss products safety

As you should always do before using your hard-earned money to purchase weight loss products you’re unfamiliar with, consult your healthcare professional. This is also true when beginning an extensive exercise program or radical diet. Your personal medical history plays an important role in the final decision and should not be taken lightly – especially if you’re currently taking prescription medicines that could present adverse drug interaction.

Keep in mind, you’re paying for health insurance for a reason. And, that reason is to make sure you stay healthy. So, if you’re currently uninsured, now may be a great time to get a .

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