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Diet Pill
Over 400 diet pills are on the market today in the forms of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal supplements.  This abundance of choices makes it difficult for a dieter to make an informed decision about which diet pill to use.  According to studies, most do not live up to their exaggerated claims.  Dieters who wish to take a diet pill should carefully research their options.  Diet pills should be evaluated using several criteria, including potential weight loss claims, effect on mood and metabolism, suppression of appetite, quality and safety of the ingredients, the reputation of the company, consumer testimonials concerning side effects and long-term results, and cost. 

Diet pills fall into two main categories, depending on their ingredients.  Appetite suppressants, sold under the brand names Meridia, Tenuate, Adipex-P, Fastin, Anoxine-AM, and others, affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain which regulates appetite.  These drugs affect serotonin and norepinephrine and create the feeling of fullness a person gets after eating.  When these chemicals are circulating in your brain, you eat less because you are not hungry.  Fat blockers, such as Xenical, slow the action of lipase, an enzyme which breaks down fat in the intestinal tract.  When lipase is inhibited, less of the fat eaten is retained in the body and more of it is eliminated through bowel movements. 

Other promising diet drugs are in testing phases.  Rimonabant, which will be marketed under the name Acomplia, affects a protein in the brain called endocannabinoids.  This drug blocks endocannabinoids, which are similar to the ingredients in marijuana, from reaching the appetite receptors and reduces cravings for food.  Acomplia also raises “good” cholesterol levels, lowers the number of triglycerides in the bloodstream, and may help smokers stop smoking.  Other diet drugs in testing affect the hormones which tell the body it is full.   

Diet pills are intended for dieters who have large amounts of weight to lose.  Some dieters have extreme reactions to the ingredients in these pills.  Some diet pills may cause or exacerbate heart problems, gastrointestinal problems, dermatitis, or other health problems.  A dieter should consult his doctor before beginning a diet regimen which includes diet pills.

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