Member Comments for the Article:

Weight Loss Supplements: Fact or Fiction?


  • I heard tapeworms worked in weight loss, and so does the flu... - 9/26/2010 4:03:14 PM
    When I was in college, my friend and I would get "Yellow Jackets," "Silver Bullets," and "Black Beauties" which were ephedra pills that probably had caffeine in them. They were super cheap and you got them from the most trustworthy place ever - a gas station. We'd get them to stay awake and study. I wasn't looking to lose weight, but saw that as an "added bonus." We would be SO AWAKE and SO ALERT and you felt almost invincible. They completely killed my appetite and hers, we lost about 10 lbs, but talk about unhealthy. I'd hardly sleep at all. I wouldn't eat, couldn't eat, but I'd be insanely thirsty. The thing is, we never took the correct dose - 3!!! pills per dose...We only took one pill a day. I am certain if we had taken what it said to, we would have had wound up dead or close to it. The very last time I ever took them, I got very sick. I couldn't stop vomiting (but I hadn't had anything to eat) and my body was shaking, my heart was racing. It was very scary and I went to the doctor ASAP. I'm lucky that was all that happened. Not much later after my incident did an athlete die from taking ephedra... It really hit home. Maybe that was what would have happened to me, had I kept taking them.
    It was about 2 years later when they were banned from the US and with good reason. It was foolish of me to take them - but my rationale was that they were legal, over the counter, and I believed them to be safe. When my friend took them, she did not have as many side effects as I did but she was a much larger person (she was 5'9 and I'd guess about 190 lbs) and I was 5'4 and probably 130 lbs. Keep in mind, I was also probably about 19 years old and lacked some insight. She had been taking them maybe a month or so before I started and she had "no" side effects, so I assumed I wouldn't either.

    - 8/22/2010 9:09:56 AM
  • I don't think I would take on supplements. They are not considered food or drugs and are not regulated by the FDA. You never know what you are really putting in your body. Why chance it. - 8/21/2010 8:30:55 AM
  • I don't necessarily agree with this article. While I do agree that there are many "get slim quick" pills out there on the market, a lot of the supplements/materials mentioned in the article really do have a lot of science and research behind them. I am the Chemist at a nutritional supplement company (we only supply doctor's offices; we are not a generic brand found at a store like GNC) so I have stumbled across a lot of studies on many of these ingredients that Sparkpeople has determined "need more research". I think its more about a balanced lifestyle, but I really do believe that some of these ingredients are helpful to weight loss! One example--CLA. See SP secret and links to research studies shared:
    al_supplements - 8/20/2010 7:43:31 AM
    I know that taking weight loss suppliments is not a great idea. I think it's all mental. If you think the suppliment is working you are more likely to work out more/ eat healthier because "its working". Have positive thoughts and you wont need the suppliments. - 8/18/2010 9:45:24 AM
  • The article didn't even talk about the patches, after they mentioned them at the beginning, and that's the reason i read it. I have friends who are selling the patches and swear by them (I trust my friends) but the patches are, of course, very expensive and I'd like to see something written about them. - 2/28/2010 6:52:06 PM
  • While I agree that diet and exercise are the healthiest ways to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, I also take an Ephedrine/Caffeine/Aspirin (ECA) stack from time to time. I live in Canada, and it's still legal to acquire Ephedrine in 8 mg tablets. I have found that there are both positives and negatives with this supplement. First, this is not a miracle cure to make you lose weight, the benefits are small, work best when combined with a mix of diet and exercise, and all the "good" effects of the ephedrine wear off at about the three week point when you have to discontinue its use. Going off ephedrine not fun either. While I don't feel typical withdrawal symptoms, I see a huge drop in my energy levels and my appetite increases as a result, trying to replace the energy I'm missing with food. It's true that Ephedrine will cut your appetite; however, some people will completely lose their appetite and nausea is not uncommon. I also find that when combined in the ECA, it can make you feel really jumpy if you're not used to it and if you take too high a dose. I've taken it in the past to work through a plateau, and I probably will again... for a very short period of time only. - 2/28/2010 3:52:43 PM
  • Taking a pill to reduce hunger only works if you ONLY eat when you're hungry. If we did that we wouldn't be overweight. - 2/28/2010 8:19:54 AM
  • I don't feel that any of these weight loss products work, and the ones that do usually compromise your health. - 2/8/2010 1:32:21 PM
  • LINDA2138
    Unfortunately, we all want a quick fix for our weight loss goals. I tell people that I,m not dieting, I am just trying to keep practicing till I get it right. I know it will take me a life time, but I JUST KEEP PLUGGING Along. - 2/8/2010 1:17:14 PM
    2 tables spoons of Epson salts dissolved in 1 or 2 oz of warm water, have a strong chaser ready for after you drink this. My friend lost about 125 lbs. He did this once or twice a week for a month, then he does it once a month to keep his colon clean. It is all natural, and all the doctor's agree the colon is the start of most problems. The store bought detoxes have the additives which are part the same you are trying to rid the body of chemicals. Anyone else doing this? - 2/7/2010 10:48:39 PM
  • I have to agree with this article. I have tried some of this stuff and it did not help at all.
    I recently saw the "Full Bar" on sale at Costco and decided to give it a try. It did not make me feel full, did not make me stop eating and really did nothing but add 160 Cal. to my nutrition intake for each bar, mostly it is just rice. I use them for a snack now and then. I guess I could take the rest of the box back to Costco because I have the receipt but they do taste good. - 2/7/2010 10:07:31 PM
    In response to all and following up on PATKENOW's comment - never take anything you haven't researched thoroughly and or discusses with someone knowledgeable. I too at 59 have tried many, including prescription, and know that there are good in both... in ADDITION TO good diet and plenty of exercise. NO magic - just good common sense. No pill, patch or whatever will DO IT FOR YOU... you still have to do the work. It's good work and not only builds muscle, but character. I loose my focus every few years - toooo much stress and you forget to take care of yourself. Just remember, if you don't take care of you and respect yourself, who else will? Take care of yourself and you will have tons of energy to take care of others... if you try to do it backwards you're screwed! - 2/7/2010 8:59:16 PM
    I feel this article is very one-sided and am disappointed in Spark People. While there are some awful supplements on the market (thanks to our great old free-market system!), there are some very effective, proven ingredients that assist in weight management. They have been supported by stringent European studies, but the US big pharma is too egotistical and ignores them. I have taught health and nutrition at a university for 30 years and am a strong advocate of exercise and diet as the key to weight loss/maintenance. However, I also know of some good assisting products that, in fact, I have used for almost 20 years with great success (without any side effects other than safe, effective weight loss/maintenance.) - 2/7/2010 11:20:24 AM

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