Last week millions of dieters were hit with an unexpected blow and scrambling to find alternatives when the FDA announced a voluntary Hydroxycut recall. There are a few important points to cover on this topic.
First of all, the recall occurred because the FDA received 23 reports for adverse effects related to Hydroxycut, which included liver damage, cardiovascular disorders, elevated liver enzymes, seizures, muscle damage, jaundice and one death. Now, although these are undoubtedly tragic consequences for the people who had these experiences, we have to put things into perspective.
Millions of people take Hydroxycut – they sold over 9 million products last year. These 23 adverse effects occurred over what appears to be at least a 2 year period, so 23 out of more than 9 million, is not a high number. Additionally, the FDA would never recall a pharmaceutical drug that killed 1 person and had adverse effects for 22 other people. You would probably never even hear about it. FDA approved drugs kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, but this is considered acceptable risk for the better good. They don’t pull a prescription drug off the market until complications are drastic and even then they drag their feet and will try everything under the sun to find another way.
I’d also like to say that I am not a proponent of Hydroxycut or any other natural diet pills, so I don’t point this fact out because I think you should be taking it. The real issue we want to be focused on is this:
The Hydroxycut recall appears to be yet another attempt by the FDA to discredit the natural health industry and stop them from cutting into the pocketbooks of the pharmaceutical industry.
If they could get away with it, the FDA would probably pull every natural health product on the market, so that we all would have to be dependent on dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.
We’ve seen this similar approach with ephedra and tryptophan. Anytime a natural health product gets too popular and threatens the bottom line dollar of the pharmaceutical industry too much, they conveniently find a reason to pull it from the market.
So even if we are not supporters of Hydroxycut itself, the actions of the FDA should be of grave concern to us all, because it is a threat to the entire natural health industry.
We could go into a lengthy discussion about how the FDA is always targeting the natural health industry, but I think it would be more productive, if we just call attention to this fact once again and then explore this issue from a couple different angles.
So putting all that aside, there could be and likely are many other factors that could be at the root of these adverse effects that occurred with Hydroxycut. Many people are taking a variety of pharmaceutical drugs in addition to taking Hydroxycut. Mixing different prescriptions together can be deadly and so can mixing prescription drugs with herbal medications. They can interact with one another, increase or decrease the effectiveness of one another and result in a variety of side-effects.
Many people who are overweight also have a variety of other health conditions. Their liver and cardiovascular systems are not likely to be functioning optimally to begin with, which means they are vulnerable to complications quite easily.
Additionally, many people do not follow directions. They often think that more is better and in a desperate attempt to lose weight or whatever goal their trying to accomplish, they increase the dosage. They often take a variety of different herbal preparations at one time.
Which brings us to another important side of this coin that I always warn people about. Natural does not always mean safe and risk free. Herbs are very potent and powerful and do not come without risks. They must be taken with caution and one should always do extensive homework before self-medicating. Just like pharmaceuticals, herbs can interact with one another and they too can enhance or decrease the effectiveness of one another.
An herb that is helpful for one condition can be detrimental to another condition. So if you have more than one health condition, it is important to have all the facts before combining. If someone already has a compromised liver or immune system, sometimes even herbs can be hard to metabolize or are not received by the body in a positive manner.
You should do thorough research and communicate with a knowledgeable health care provider, especially if you are taking prescription medications or have a serious health condition or conditions. Your level of health, other medications or natural remedies you may be taking, the foods you eat, your environment, your lifestyle and the specs of the herbs all need to be taken into consideration.
Personally, I am not a proponent of Hydroxycut or any weight loss products regardless of whether they are natural or pharmaceuticals, because they are only a Band-Aid. They do not address the real problem.
The bottom line is that those who want to lose weight need to stop looking for short cuts or an easier path. There is no magic bullet pill – natural or otherwise. The answer to losing weight or maintaining your optimal weight comes by making permanent lifestyle changes, which include exercising, eating a healthy diet and removing environmental toxins from your life. Although this approach may not be easy, it is simple. There is no pill that is going to change these facts or aid in weight loss for very long. You may lose a few pounds temporarily by taking a pill or an herb, but without permanent lifestyle changes, the weight will come back.
Although exercising is partially self-explanatory in that we all know exercise burns calories, it’s actually a little deeper than that. Exercise also stimulates the neurotransmitters in the brain that keep us from having cravings and helps balance our emotions, enhances our immune function, endocrine system, colon health and detoxification system, which are all crucial in maintaining weight loss.
Environmental toxins in your every day life, like pesticides, air fresheners, perfume and cologne, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, cigarette smoke, air pollution etc. alter and disrupt your metabolic system, endocrine system, hormones and neurotransmitters. All of which play a vital role in maintaining body weight and inciting cravings for food.
Again, many people are aware of the importance of diet when trying to lose weight, but this too is much more than cutting carbs, fats and calories. One of the most important aspects of diet is that there should not be any refined white sugar at all in the diet. Refined sugar also alters and disrupts the immune, metabolic and endocrine systems and neurotransmitters in the brain.
The diet should also be organic so you’re not ingesting pesticides, herbicides, additives and preservatives which are environmental toxins and as we discussed above, they too will alter and disrupt the metabolic, endocrine, hormone systems and neurotransmitter functioning and interfere in your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
We naturally, should be eating wholesome and nutritious foods, but here is an extremely important component most people are not aware of. A diet that is healthy for one person may not necessarily be healthy for another person. Many people with weight problems have undiagnosed food sensitivities or intolerances to healthy foods. These sensitivities or intolerances result in inflammation, interfere in proper metabolism and block insulin receptors which results in weight gain.
So for example, even though whole grains like wheat and oats or vegetables like garlic and tomatoes are healthy, for someone with a sensitivity or biochemical intolerance to these foods they are not healthy and can result in unwanted weight gain as well as a variety of other debilitating symptoms like fatigue, headaches, eczema, arthritis, depression, irritability, chronic pain or irritable bowel to name only a few. When these food sensitivities are identified ,then you remove the offending food from your diet and the weight just drops off easily and naturally.
I can personally attest to the truth of this issue whole heartedly. I discovered many years ago that if I eat wheat on a regular basis I will put on a quick extra 20 pounds. Take the wheat out of my diet and the pounds just disappear like magic.
Food sensitivities or intolerance as well as sensitivities to common environmental toxins and mold can be identified quickly and easily with the ALCAT test. Unlike Hydroxycut or other natural weight loss pills, this test is completely safe, without any risks or side effects. Although, initially the price of the test is a little costly, in the long run you save money, because once you have the results then there is nothing ongoing you have to take or do other than remove offending foods from your diet. I also offer the test at a significantly disounted price.
In a recent study on the ALCAT test where results were published in the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine, it was found that simple avoidance of hidden food sensitivities or intolerances is as effective as drugs, herbs or extreme calorie restriction. The participants in the study avoided foods that were identified in their ALCAT test and achieved an average weight loss of approximately 37 pounds, dropped an average of six points on the BMI (body mass index) and had a 30% decrease in body fat.
There’s a great little book called Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making You Fat, and I give away a free copy of this book, when you order an ALCAT test. Additionally, other factors that may contribute to weight gain or inability to lose weight may include hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, Candida overgrowth, neurotransmitter imbalances and hypoglycemia. You can learn more about all these issues, how food sensitivities cause weight gain and how to get your free copy of Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making You Fat by reading this page – It’s Not Your Fault You’re Overweight.
So, if you’re looking for a healthy and safe alternative to the Hydroxycut recall or you’re just looking for a safe and effective way to lose weight, following the suggestions above and getting an ALCAT test will not only help you shed the pounds, but it is likely to improve your mental and physical health in many other ways as well.