Is There a Safe Supplement That Helps With Weight Loss?

Safety is a concern with weight loss supplements. This is particularly true with prescription medications, where the powerful medications can have disastrous, unexpected results.

One example of this is the fen-phen disaster, where the diet pill fen-phen caused heart damage. Many hundreds of people suffered damage to the heart valves, some requiring surgical replacement of the valves and causing lifelong health problems.

But even over-the-counter supplements can be dangerous. One example is ephedrine. Ephedrine was widely promoted as a weight loss and energy supplement.

While the benefits were modest, the risks were high. Ephedrine raises blood pressure, and its use led to heart attacks and stroke. It was banned for sale in the United States in February 2004.

But not all supplements are dangerous. There is one supplement that you should be aware of that is safe and effective. It is called DHEA (abbreviation for dehydroepiandrostenedione.)

DHEA is a hormone, made by the body, that helps with metabolism of fats. Levels of DHEA peak at around age 20 and rapidly decline after age 25.

DHEA has been the subject of a great deal of scientific research. One of the most interesting studies was done at Washington University School of Medicine (Effect of DHEA on abdominal fat and insulin action in elderly women and men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Nov 10;292(18):2243-8.)

They studied a group of elderly patients who were given DHEA as a supplement. They each took 50 mg. of DHEA per day. What they found was that those that took DHEA lost visceral fat (visceral fat is fat that surrounds our internal organs) and abdominal fat (abdominal fat is the fat that gives us a saggy belly and a “beer gut.”)

Why is this important? Because people that have higher levels of visceral fat and abdominal fat tend to have more heart attacks and strokes. They also tend to have more high blood pressure and diabetes, which is known as the “metabolic syndrome.” So not only does abdominal fat ruin your figure, it ruins your health.

Can you be sure that DHEA is safe? Yes, DHEA is safe. It is a substance that is identical to what your body makes. You have high levels of it when you are young, and it declines when you age.

So when you take DHEA, you are just replacing what your body is no longer making. There are no side effects and no known risks to taking it. It is available in health food stores without a prescription.

This is a supplement that you should consider if you are trying to lose weight and become fit. It won’t do the whole job for you. You still need to have proper diet and activity that is right for you.

But DHEA will help take off some of that abdominal fat, and it may help you avoid complications like diabetes and heart disease. Consider using it as part of your program of permanent weight loss.

Are You Tired Of Being Fat?

Dan Curtis, M.D. is an author, lecturer, and university professor. For more help with your weight loss visit: How many calories do you need to lose weight?

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