Whether fat burner supplements are safe is a question that is asked by many people. A big part of the reason they wonder is because of the dangerous conditions and even deaths that occurred when fat burners contained ephedra.
Because there aren’t any studies regarding the safety of fat burners, it is difficult to say for certain whether they are safe. Fat burner supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which only monitors reports of side effects.
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It is important to note that there have been many fewer incidents involving fat burners since ephedra was been removed from the market. The incidents that have occurred are generally when the fat burner is combined with a prescription drug or has undeclared ingredients.
In 2009, the FDA recalled 70 fat burner products from the shelves, because they either contained a prescription drug or they had an undeclared ingredient. It is important to note that it is very unusual for this to happen with a product that is manufactured in the United States.
What are some of the dangers associated with fat burners?
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the biggest issues is that no one knows enough about fat burners and weight loss products in general to determine the safety of long term use.
One of the most common issues with fat burners today is that they are stimulants that can have a negative impact on men and women who have heart problems. In addition, many products, such as ephedra, country mallow, and Bitter Orange have turned out to cause health problems even though they were initially thought safe.
Because the FDA doesn’t require supplement companies to prove the efficacy of their products or submit their products to long term clinical trials, it is usually when people start getting sick that a problem is discovered. Taking a supplement that is untested scientifically can prove to be risky.
I hear that ephedra was a great fat burner, why was it banned by the FDA?
It is true, according to trials studied by the FDA that ephedra had some effect on fat. Basically, people taking ephedra lost about 2 pounds more per month than people who took a placebo. However, it is also true that some people who took ephedra based products died.
On page 78 of the above mentioned report by the FDA, they also provide a list of common side effects of ephedra, which include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Increased sweating
- Psychiatric symptoms including neurotic behavior
- Stomach upset
23 year old Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died of ephedra toxicity in 2003. It wasn’t long after this incident that a full-fledged investigation began. Ephedra was pulled off of the shelves in February 2004 and has been a banned substance every since.
Do fat burners actually work?
There is a lot of conflicting information about fat burners online. Some people swear by the use of fat burners while otherd simply complain that all they got from taking fat burners were the jitters.
The problem with fat burners in general is that there just isn’t enough clinical data to determine whether or not they are beneficial or not. In many cases, when a company conducts a study on their own fat burner, the study only lasts for 8 weeks. This isn’t nearly long enough to get a real feel for how a product will work.
The bottom line is that you may have to try a fat burner for yourself to see if it works. You should visit your doctor first to get cleared medically and discuss taking the fat burner products you are considering. This will ensure your safety.
Should I buy fat burners online or at a local store?
The upside to buying a fat burner at a local store is that you can read the ingredient label and see the size of the pills for yourself. The downside, however, is that you will likely pay more for a fat burner in a store than you will online. This is especially true if you choose a fat burner supplement that is in powder form.
When you buy fat burners online, you have a wider variety of choices to consider. If you see a brand that looks interesting, you can immediately find reviews and information about the fat burner before you buy the product.
You will also find that because there are so many choices online, the prices tend to be more competitive. As the prices can range from $10 to $100 depending on the product that you choose, getting a lower price is always a good thing!
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