Most of you have probably seen commercials for the over the counter weight loss pill Alli. Currently, it’s the only FDA approved non-prescription weight loss pill. Back in 2007 the pill was approved and sales for the product sky rocketed…and I was skeptical.
According to the Alli website, the pill works by attaching to “some of the natural enzymes in the digestive system, preventing them from breaking down about a quarter of the fat you eat.” As a result, fewer calories from the fat in the food you eat are absorbed. Additionally, eating a high fat meal results in some pretty unpleasant “treatment effects” so there is incentive to keeping your fat inake in check.
Since there is a history of ineffective and unsafe supplement options for treating overweight and obesity, I thought these pills were just to good to be true. On August 24th, USA Today released an article entitled “FDA probes weight-loss pill alli over liver damage reports.” Needless to say, this is only an investigation and a direct relationship between the weight loss treatments and liver injury have not been established. However, the FDA is reviewing additional details about the suspected cases of liver injury submitted by manufacturers.
If you have or are currently taking Alli, please talk to your Dr. if you experience symptoms of liver failure including fatigue, fever, nausea, and vomitting.
While many are hopeful that Alli is the magic cure, it seems we ought to remain a bit more skeptical. Is 10 lbs really worth damage to your vital organs? Of course not.