Most people think of diet pills when they think of weight loss aids. But did you know that you can make better, more effective diet pills at home? We looked into the ingredients of some of the most popular over-the-counter diet pills and found some truly remarkable ingredients. While regular diet pills may help with quicker weight loss, homemade pills can help with better results and fewer side effects.
Diethylpropion (DYP) is an appetite suppressant that helps with weight loss. This ingredient helps to regulate blood sugar and decreases hunger pangs. It is also a derivative of propionic acid which helps to reduce food cravings. Because it is a fairly new addition to the marketplace, there aren’t many established safety guidelines to follow when taking diet pills containing this ingredient. However, early reports are looking pretty good!
Phentermine (Phen) is an analogue of the chemical methylphenidate (MPH). It is primarily used to treat ADHD, but it has also been found to dramatically decrease food intake in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Since it is a precursor to the amphetamine family of compounds, it can have some pretty impressive effects on the brain! As an aid for weight loss, phentermine works in a somewhat different manner than most other diet pills. It inhibits the reuptake of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in the brain. Dopamine can enhance the feeling of pleasure in the brain – causing some to say that it is the “happy hormone”. When dopamine is not reabsorbed into the nerve endings, it can cause the brain to send out a “feel good” signal. The theory is that when someone takes phentermine, they will experience an increase in energy and a decrease in appetite. It is a commonly available diet pill at most pharmacies – however, it is often times more expensive than other OTC weight loss supplements. It is also important to note that many people who take phentermine may experience insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety – especially at the beginning of treatment. While these side effects only last for a short period of time, it is still important to be aware of them.
Lorcaserin (LOR) is an oral anti-obesity drug that works by decreasing the feeling of hunger pangs in the brain. It does this by increasing the feeling of satiety in the body. When you are feeling hungry, the brain sends out a message to the body that there is not enough food available. This is why many obesity-related medical conditions are associated with increased appetite. To combat this, lorcaserin decreases appetite by increasing the body’s feel good hormone, serotonin.
Chromium picolinate (CPL) is an anti-cancer nutrient that has been shown in numerous studies to decrease food intake in patients with type 2 diabetes. In a clinical trial involving over 400 obese participants, those who ingested 500 mg of chromium picolinate every day for 24 weeks lost an average of 4.8 kg more than the placebo group.
Gastrointestinal Taste Masking Agent
One of the primary concerns with any weight loss regimen is the effect that diet pills will have on the overall taste of food. Because many of these chemicals are in direct contact with the digestive system, they can alter the way that food tastes. Many people experience a bitter taste in their mouth when ingesting certain substances – including a majority of diet pills on the market today. To combat this, manufacturers often add a gastrointestinal (GI) taste masking agent to reduce or eliminate the taste of these chemicals when they are digested.
Vitamin B6 (B6) is a vital nutrient for the growth and maintenance of body tissue. It is often found in fortified foods and natural products such as meat, milk, and some vegetables. Like many other B vitamins, vitamin B6 is required for the synthesis of important substances in the body – such as proteins and nucleic acids. Despite its seemingly important role in the body, vitamin B6 does not actually contribute to energy production. Instead, it helps the body utilize the energy that is derived from food more effectively.
Fenugreek (FG) is an herb that is often used in Indian cuisine. It has been shown in studies to decrease serum cholesterol levels and promote insulin sensitivity. In one human trial, subjects who ingested fenugreek daily for 3 months lost an average of 5 kg more than the placebo group! Even more impressive was the fact that the majority of participants were not following a calorie-restricted diet – but instead, simply adjusted their daily food intake to stay at a healthy weight. Fenugreek has been shown to increase the feeling of pleasure in the brain which may contribute to its weight loss effects. It is available in most health food stores and some supermarkets.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract (GTE) is an extract of the flavonoid compounds found in green tea. These compounds have powerful antioxidant properties which can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. The compounds which make up green tea extract have been shown in studies to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body – primarily by preventing damage caused by free radicals. The presence of free radicals in the body is associated with increased appetite – and since green tea extract lowers food cravings, it may help to boost weight loss. In recent years, green tea extract has become one of the most popular diet supplements for its purported ability to increase energy levels and decrease food cravings. While the evidence supporting the consumption of green tea extract for weight loss is currently limited, it is still commonly found in most OTC weight loss products.
L-Theanine (LN) is an amino acid which occurs naturally in some green tea varieties. It has been shown in studies to have a calming effect on the brain. Although it has not yet been established how much L-theanine is required to produce this effect, it has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. In one study involving healthy male subjects, those who took a daily 800 mg dose of L-theanine experienced a significant decrease in anxiety and stress – along with significant increases in their energy levels. L-theanine is sometimes found in supplements branded for athletic use – and while it does not appear to have any direct effect on exercise performance, it may help to enhance the body’s feeling of well-being – which can have a positive impact on physical health and activity levels.
Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) is a common ingredient in many popular diet supplements and weight loss drinks. Due to its high content of vitamin C, tartness, and citric acid, grapefruit can help to combat the effects of aging by defending the body against diseases and conditions related to aging. Despite its many beneficial properties, grapefruit can be extremely irritating to the digestive system – sometimes causing inflammation and diarrhea in users. While these are fairly uncommon side effects, it is still important to be mindful when consuming grapefruit – especially in larger amounts. Since grapefruit helps to maintain healthy bones, it may also be helpful in the treatment of osteoporosis – a condition which can lead to bone loss and increased susceptibility to fractures.
Although it is not an actual ingredient, caffeine (CAF) can have a profound impact on the body and brain when consumed in large amounts. Caffeine is a substance which occurs naturally in coffee and chocolate — as well as some tea and cola varieties. It has been shown in studies to inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase, leading to an increase in the levels of adenosine in the brain. High levels of adenosine can cause a person to feel more relaxed and satisfied – often leading to improved overall well-being. In one study, subjects who took a caffeine-free placebo reported a significant increase in their energy levels and activity while those who took the caffeine-containing supplement experienced a significant decrease in these energy levels. Many people use caffeine as a masking agent to reduce the bitter taste of certain natural and synthetic chemicals found in the ingredients used to manufacture diet pills – however, it is always best to consult a physician before taking any sort of supplement or drug containing caffeine.