weight loss

  1. [YIKES!] Diet drug linked to today’s DEADLIEST cancers

    Whatever you do… NEVER tell a mainstream doc you’re DYING to lose weight.

    Because whether he knows it or not… he just might make your “dying” wish come true!

    I only wish that were an exaggeration.

    But an alarming new report reveals that the feds KNEW about a deadly risk linked to a popular diet drug.

    They knew about it… and did NOTHING for years!

    Now – FINALLY! -- the FDA has taken action and YANKED the drug off the market.

    But don’t let that reassure you.

    As you’ll see in a moment, this is more PROOF that the feds are working overtime to protect the drug companies… and NOT you!

    The TRUE toll of a weight-loss drug

    The drug lorcaserin, a.k.a. Belviq, was approved a few years back with all the hype and fanfare you’d expect.

    A game-changer! A miracle! A dieter’s dream!

    Except… it WASN’T a dream at all.

    If anything, it was a NIGHTMARE, as dieters reported some of the screwiest side effects you can imagine…

    Like “unexpected or excess milk flow from the breasts” and “cool, pale skin.”

    Think about that. You lose all your color… turn cold… and then start leaking milk.

    What the heck kinda diet is this???

    That’s on top the of usual array of nausea, chills, sweats, bloody urine , etc. etc. etc.

    But NOT ONE of those risks is the reason they pulled it off the market.

    There’s a bigger one -- cancer.

    An analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine linked the drug to some of the deadliest forms of the disease:

    • colorectal cancer
    • pancreatic cancer
    • lung cancer
    • liver and bile duct cancers, and
    • leukemia.

    OK, so what’s the big deal? They saw the risk and pulled the drug, right?

    WRONG!

    The FDA first spotted this cancer connection back in 2012, when they gave the drug the OK. But they left it alone.

    They let patients take the drug and face those risks… for 8 YEARS… before finally taking action just months ago.

    They not only approved it knowing the risks… they also approved it knowing that drug does ALMOST NOTHING for most people.

    Sure, they can SAY it’s twice as good as a placebo at helping people lose weight…

    But in real terms, just 40% of the folks on the drug lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared to 17 percent on a placebo.

    The rest – the vast majority – got only disappointment.

    There’s a better way.

    Swear off carbs!

    That’s the entire plan. No need to buy books… swallow pills… or follow any special program.

    But…

    It’s not easy for everyone. As a nation, we’re practically ADDICTED to carbs.

    So, let me give you a little cheat…

    There’s another way to JUMPSTART weight loss that I almost got in trouble for recommending years ago.

    Now, it’s quickly turning into a mainstream recommendation!

    It’s called fasting -- and I don’t mean starving yourself like some kinda mountain guru.

    There’s an easier form called “intermittent” fasting, which allows, for example…

    • eating “normal,” but only within a certain time window each day (say, 10am-6pm), OR
    • eating “normal” for 4-5 days a week, but with severe restrictions on the 2-3 remaining days.

    A Google search for “intermittent fasting” will get you what you need to get started.

    Just beware of one potential downside they DON’T mention…

    Fasting is a great way to FORCE OUT toxins, and on the one hand that’s GOOD. But on the other, it could lead to toxins entering the bloodstream from your fat cells, which could leave you feeling lousy early on.

    That should pass over time, as those toxins are eventually CHASED out of your body altogether.

  2. Weight loss drug Qsymia approved by FDA

    New weight loss drug trades pounds for side effects

    Here we go again. The FDA in all of its wisdom has given the green light to the latest "skinny pill." This one has a fancy new name...Qsymia (yeah, good luck pronouncing it)...but the same tired old problems.

    (And, no, it's NOT your imagination: this is the second diet drug approved in as many months by our friends over at the FDA. The other one was Belviq.)

    Now even if you're an avid reader of health news you might not have heard of Qsymia before, because it recently changed its name. Apparently someone at the head of the conference table over at Vivus Inc. must have thought Qsymia rolled off the tongue much easier than it's former name Qnexa.

    But with apologies to Shakespeare I have to say a rotten apple by any other name would still smell as rotten. You see, this new "miracle weight loss drug" Qsymia is really just a combination of two tired-old prescription drugs that you might recognize.

    The first one is the stimulant phentermine, which probably sounds familiar since it was one half of the fen-phen nightmare drug that was at the center of a scandal back in the late 90's when it was tied to heart-valve damage.

    The other half is an anti-seizure drug called topiramate. Now why adding an anticonvulsant drug to an old stimulant supposedly equals some kind of weight loss miracle, I have no idea. But, according to the drug's manufacturer, the topiramate makes those who take it "feel more full."

    Less than impressive weight loss

    So what's the catch with Qsymia?

    Well, it turns out that there are several of them, starting with what the mainstream press is calling an "impressive performance," but what I call a lackluster showing at best. I'll explain in a moment, but first a little more background.

    To get your hands on Qsymia you need to be obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. However, there is a handy little loophole for those under 30. According to the FDA if you have a BMI of 27 to 29, but have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type-2 diabetes you're in.

    Once on the drug, users are then expected to exercise and follow a reduced calorie diet. (Hm...I can't be the only one thinking that this alone might do the trick.)

    Now back to that so-called "impressive performance." After one year on the drug volunteers had an average 6.7 percent weight loss in one trial and an average 8.9 percent in another trial. But let's take a look at that in terms of the numbers that really matter the most to you and me...pounds.

    Take, for an example, an obese woman weighing 200 pounds. For her a 6.7 percent weight loss is a measly 13.4 pounds. And even if she lost the 8.9 percent she would be at 17.8 pounds lost...perhaps nothing to sneeze at, but that kind of loss certainly won't magically transform a fat person into a skinny one.

    And don't forget, study participants were on a reduced calorie diet and exercising at the same time that they were taking this drug, so it's really anybody's guess how much of their weight loss was due to the drug and how much was the result of good old-fashioned watching what you eat and getting moving.

    Head-to-toe side effects

    Lackluster weight loss isn't the only catch with this drug. If it was, it may be worth popping a few pills to drop a few pounds. But do you want to take a guess at the potential side effects that come along with this not–so-massive potential weight loss?

    Topping the list is birth defects. If you happen to be pregnant, or get pregnant, while on this drug the topiramate component could cause your child to be born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.

    Next up in this game of side effect roulette are, not surprisingly, heart related issues. According to the FDA Qsymia can increase heart rate, meaning if you've had a heart attack or stroke...or are suffering with heart disease...your potential for heart complications goes up.

    (And I don't know if someone is asleep at the wheel over there at the FDA, but what about all those overweight people with BMI's of 27 to 29 with high blood pressure and high cholesterol that they plan to allow to take this drug as well?)

    But even if you haven't had any heart problems you're still not off the hook. This side effect means that anyone on Qsymia needs to submit to regular monitoring of his or her heart rate.

    Oh, and I'm not done with side effects yet...not by a long shot. The most common ones are dizziness, tingling of hands and feet, insomnia, constipation, dry mouth, and altered taste sensation.

    So let's review. With Qsymia you may have an approximate 6.7 to 8.9 percent weight loss. And along with that mild weight loss you get the potential for birth defects, heart problems, and other side effects. Oh, and you'll need to go on a reduced calorie diet and exercise program at the same time.

    On the other hand, with watching what you eat, and making an effort to get moving more alone, you will also lose weight and with zero side effects.

    I do believe that this is the very definition of a no-brainer.

  3. High protein diet helps keep weight off after dieting

    If you‘ve recently lost weight (or plan to in the New Year), here‘s a sure-fire way to keep it off: Eat more steak...in fact, anything with lots of protein will do. That‘s because a new study found that men and women who eat high-protein foods maintain their weight loss better than those who fill up on carbs. For the study, Danish researchers recruited 773 men and women who had lost an average 25 pounds (or eight percent of their body weight) by following a calorie- restricted diet. They asked the volunteers to drop their old calorie-counting habits and follow a new regimen. Then, the researchers randomly divided the volunteers into four groups: 1. Low-protein/high-glycemic-index diet 2. Low-protein/low-glycemic-index diet 3. High-protein/high-glycemic-index diet 4. High-protein/low-glycemic-index diet The volunteers followed the new regimen for 26 weeks. Then, researchers checked back in on the dieters to see which group maintained their weight loss the best. Here‘s what they found... The low-protein/high-glycemic-index dieters regained three and a half pounds on average. Plus, they were far more likely to drop out of the study all together. On the other hand, the volunteers eating steak and salad (in the high- protein/low-glycemic-index group) actually lost more weight. Plus, they were far less likely to drop out of the study.
    Eat steak in the New Year!
    Here‘s the bottom line, folks. You can lose weight lots of different ways...by eating cabbage soup, by exercising more, or by cutting out the sweets. But the best way to maintain your weight-loss for life is to make sure you‘re getting plenty of protein. Your body digests protein much slower than any other type of food. This makes you feel fuller longer so you‘re less likely to fall off the wagon. So here‘s my advice for 2011... Avoid most carbs unless they come from whole grains like steel-rolled oats or 100 percent whole wheat bread. And most importantly, fill your dinner plate with lean protein and veggies with lots of color. And save the sweets and treats for very special...and very rare...occasions.
  4. The Secret Story behind the Hydroxycut Recalls

    The FDA loves a good fist fight with the supplement industry. It gives everyone the impression that they are the “good guys” out to protect the consumer against “dangerous” all-natural products. And earlier this month, the FDA struck a knock-out. The all-natural dietary supplement Hydroxycut has been voluntarily yanked off the market following reports of liver damage, including one person who needed a liver transplant, and one related death. Those are serious concerns, to be sure. But nevertheless, I’d like to put this whole fiasco into perspective.
    Comparing apples to oranges?
    Iovate Health Sciences Inc. made more than 750 different Hydroxycut products. They were used primarily to promote weight loss and used by body builders to refine muscle tone. Millions of consumers in more than 70 different countries used these products. Last year alone, Iovate sold more than 9 million boxes of the stuff. So Iovate Inc. has sold millions and millions of products. And they’ve been linked to 23 adverse events (such as elevated liver enzymes and jaundice) and 1 death over the last seven years. Am I missing something? I don’t mean to sound glib, but that just doesn’t sound like overwhelming evidence considering the amount of the stuff sold. So that got me wondering: How does Hydroxycut compare to popular prescription drugs? For example, what kind of “adverse events” get reported about an FDA-approved drug like Chantix (Varenicline)? Chantix is a prescription drug aimed at helping you quit smoking. It’s been on the market for three years and has been used by more than 6 million people. But according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, there were 910 adverse events linked to Chantix in the second quarter of 2008 alone. What kinds of adverse events are we talking about? Well, as the ISMP report states, “From May 2006 through December 2007, the FDA received 227 domestic reports of suicidal acts, thoughts or behaviors, 397 cases of possible psychosis, and 525 reports of hostility or aggression. These totals included 28 cases of suicide and 41 mentions of homicidal ideation, 60 cases of paranoia, and 55 cases of hallucination.” In 2008, the Federal Aviation Administration had seen enough of Chantix. It banned airline pilots and air-traffic controllers from using the drug. And yet, with just 23 adverse events over a 7-year-period, the FDA urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products “in order to avoid any undue risk.” Meanwhile, Chantix is still on the market. Go figure. And let us not forget about the dozens of prescription drugs the FDA has approved over the last 25 years that have gotten pulled from the market after raising serious safety concerns, including: Vioxx, Zelnorm, Bextra, and Baycol, just to name a few. Now, I’m not saying that Hydroxycut should stay on the market. I’d just like to keep the severity of the problem in perspective. Here’s what worries me most: For every Hydroxycut fiasco, the FDA inches another step closer to regulating supplements like drugs. And that’s not good news for anyone. Can you imagine having to go to the doctor to get a prescription for vitamin C or vitamin D for Pete’s sake? Here’s what I recommend… Taking another route all together
    In the wake of the Hydroxycut mess, you may want to consider a simpler, no-nonsense approach to weight loss that begins with a healthy diet full of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You’ve also got to cut out the sugar and processed foods. You stick with that game plan and you’ll always come out ahead. I’m also a big believer -- as longtime Guide to Good Health readers know -- in the benefits of probiotics. These “good bacteria” (also known as intestinal flora) help regulate your digestion. Plus, Finnish scientists presented a study this month that suggests probiotics could help women manage their weight following pregnancy. In fact, researchers found that probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus LGG and Bifidobacterium lactis were associated with a healthy BMI. Here are the study details… During the study, 256 women were randomly divided into three groups during the first trimester of pregnancy: 1. Women receiving dietary counseling and a daily probiotic 2. Women receiving dietary counseling and a placebo 3. Women receiving no dietary counseling and a placebo The regimen for each group continued throughout their pregnancy until the women stopped breastfeeding their newborns. Researchers then reevaluated the women’s weight and waist circumference after they stopped breastfeeding. So how did the women do? Researcher Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku in Finland told Nutraingredients-USA.com: “The women who got the probiotics fared best. One year after childbirth, they had the lowest body fat percentage." Plus -- the average body fat percentage was 28 percent in the probiotic group. The dietary counseling group had an average of 29 percent body fat. And the control group -- who received no dietary advice or probiotic supplementation -- had an average of 30 percent body fat. What I found most encouraging is that fewer women who took the daily probiotic ended up carrying fat around their midsections. In fact, 18 percent fewer in the probiotic group compared to 15 percent in the control group!
    More about probiotics
    The Finnish study is great first step in the right direction. I’d like to see many more studies down the road exploring the relationship between weight and probiotic use. For example, how do men over 55 do? And what about post-menopausal women? Do they all lose fat in their midsection too? We all know the U.S. isn’t the most health conscious of countries. But it does lead the way in developing new probiotic food products, such as cheese and yogurt products containing live cultures. But many yogurt products on the market today contain only 2 strains of healthy bacteria. Plus -- many only contain about 100 million active cultures of bacteria per serving at the time of production. Sure -- that sounds like a lot of bacteria, I know. But, ideally you should get billions of units per day. (It‘s a case where more usually is better and the risk of toxicity is virtually nil.) NorthStar Nutritionals makes a probiotic supplement called “Healthy Gut” that contains 21 billion active cultures in every capsule. While we don’t know whether it’s effective for weight management, we do know that it improves regularity and promotes healthy digestion In the meantime, help manage your weight with a healthy diet.

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