Fat blocking diet pills go on sale

A pill which blocks the absorption of fat, previously only available on prescription goes on sale over the counter soon for overweight people with a BMI of 28 or more. It’s called Alli, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and needs to be taken with each meal where it prevents the fat in the meal being absorbed by the body.

This drug, previously only available on prescription, is also known as Orlistat or it’s trade name Xenical. In studies it has been found to increase weight loss more than those relying solely on their will power to eat well. However there are some significant points to note here before you rush out to get this.

Firstly it is taken with every meal to block the fat in that meal. Although the diet industry pushes low fat products, some fat is required in our day. Firstly the essential oils omega 3 and 6 that we hear so much about for heart health, mental function, fertility, good skin and immunity are fat substances.

Along with this the vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble. That means they need some fat in the meal for them to be carried into the body.

Since both the essential oils and vitamins are fat based their uptake by the body is affected. This means this drug isn’t ideal for long term use.

Secondly and an important factor if you are considering taking this drug are the side effects. The fat that isn’t absorbed can cause some very unpleasant effects. Wind, anal incontinence and oily stool leakage at inappropriate times are well reported. In fact the advice is to not take this on a day you have to go out.

So this isn’t a miracle drug that lets you eat all the fatty food you wish and still lose weight. The reality is that much of the weight loss occurs because people are highly motivated to stick to a very low fat diet in order to avoid a socially debilitating accident.

If this is the motivation you need to change your eating habits then it may be useful to start you on your way for a limited period of time. But be warned of the consequences of missing some hidden fat in your food!