Mankind has been searching for means for losing weight for more than a thousand years - in the second century, the Roman doctor Soran of Ephesus prescribed to his patients laxatives and diuretics as part of a complex therapy for losing weight.
In the 1930s, GlaxoSmithKline introduced the Benzedrine brand on the market, which really helps fight obesity . Today, the active ingredients of this medication are known as amphetamines, and it is itself prohibited.
Benzedrine reduced appetite, increased concentration and performance - in total, this was expressed in accelerating metabolism and increasing calories burned, even with a normal lifestyle. As a result, a person lost weight almost before his eyes, while remaining cheerful.
It took only a few years for the drug to enter club life. The drug MDMA, known as Ecstasy, is a direct derivative of those diet pills. A total ban on amphetamines was imposed by most countries in the 1970s (1) .
"The best diet pills"
Typical diet pills from the 1950s included amphetamines, caffeine, and other stimulants, thyroid hormones (responsible for raising body temperature), diuretics, and barbiturates often enough to reduce side effects.
The reason for the prohibition of such a composition was both the formation of physical and psychological dependence, and a number of fatal cases caused by taking such pills. Among the main causes of death are overheating of the body, heart attack, and cerebral hemorrhage.
Ephedrine and OxyElite Pro
Given the huge demand for drugs for weight loss, medical companies every decade present a new component that allows you to circumvent the ban on amphetamines, but close to them in action. After a few years, such a component is usually also prohibited.
A similar thing happened with ephedrine, which was banned in 2004, and with the main component of the OxyElite Pro fat burner, DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or “geranium extract”), banned in 2013. The cause is death from a heart attack and impaired liver function (2) .
New generation slimming drugs
The amphetamine-free prescription slimming drug Redux (Dexfenfluramine) was widely used in the 1990s. However, several years later it turned out that people taking it increase their chance of dying from a heart attack by 30% (3) .
An appetite-lowering drug Acomplia (Rimonabant) is the most recent example. A number of countries (USA, Canada, India) initially did not approve it for sale as potentially dangerous, but in the EU countries it was sold for some time. Now the medicine is banned (4) .
The only class of weight loss medications allowed today that shows effectiveness is fat blockers and Orlistat (Orlistat, Xenical, tetrahydrolipstatin). However, this medicine also leaves many questions of doctors.
It must be remembered that dietary fat alone does not lead to obesity . To increase body weight, it is first necessary to exceed the daily norm of calorie intake. In addition, the drug will interfere with the absorption of the most important vitamins of groups D, E, K and A.
Caffeine and other elements
Numerous scientific studies do not show any fat-burning effect of caffeine (5) . The effect of chitosan, green tea, hydroxycitric and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on body weight loss is either absent or remains a huge question.
Currently, there are more than 50 different dietary supplements and about 200 proprietary slimming mixtures. In 90% of cases, these drugs either do not work at all, or work slightly. In 10% of cases, drugs are dangerous. Regardless of the cost.
Metabolic change is a serious intervention in the body, not without consequences. The whole history of diet pills consists of the invention of a new medicine and evidence of its mortal danger a few years later.
- Substituted amphetamine, Wikipedia article, source
- OxyElite Pro Supplements Recalled, source
- Anti-obesity medication, source
- Rimonabant source
- Caffeine - in-depth scientific information, source