It's useful to consult supplement guides if you're thinking of taking any tablets designed to assist weight loss. Supplement guides might also cover diet shakes or powders designed to replace one or more of your daily meals.
If used correctly, these substances could help you to lose weight, improve your strength and stamina, or benefit your general health. However, there are many less reputable companies selling products that have little or no benefit at all, so it's important to research thoroughly in supplement guides any tablets, powders or shakes you decide to take.
Fortunately, in the European Union, any product has to undergo extensive research before it can be legally sold as a dietary supplement. However, controls are much more relaxed in America, where a product has to be proved ineffective before it can be banned from sale. It's important to remember when buying online that products coming from America will therefore not have been subject to as rigorous a vetting process as products sold in Europe.
There are health risks associated with many weight loss products on sale:
The safest products are those made of all natural ingredients. Natural fibre products, for example, may or may not succeed in their goal to make you feel fuller for longer, but at least they won't do you any harm, and will keep your digestive system functioning efficiently.
- Stomach fillers such as guar gum can cause blockages in the intestines, stomach or oesophagus.
- Some appetite suppressants may contain highly addictive amphetamine (aka speed) derivatives.
- Popular appetite suppressant ephedra can cause heart palpitations, heart attacks and stroke.