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Fat Burners: Side Effects, Are They Safe?

Updated on December 3, 2015

How do fat Burners help to loss weight

These drugs help in burning away fat by increasing the rate of metabolism. This is achieved by a process called thermogenesis onto heart even before it can turn into fat.

What are fat burners?

There are more than 50 individual dietary supplements and about 150 combination products available for weight loss, over the counter.

Most of these supplements:

  • Increase energy expenditure
  • Alter carbohydrate metabolism
  • Increase satiety
  • Block dietary fat absorption
  • Enhance mood

Some common dietary supplements include:

  • Ephedra, bitter orange, guarana, caffeine (increase energy expenditure)
  • Chromium, ginseng (alter carbohydrate metabolism)
  • Psyllium guar gum (increase satiety)
  • L-carnitine, Hydroxycitric acid, catechins (present in green tea)
  • Vitamin B5, Licorice, conjugated Linoleic acid, Pyruvate, Chitosan (block fat absorption)

Fat Burners Are They Safe?
Fat Burners Are They Safe?

However, the role of drug therapy has been questioned because of concerns about:

  • Efficacy
  • Safety
  • Observation that body weight loss slows and then plateaus with continued treatment, and most patients regain weight when their weight-loss drugs are stopped.

First Steps to Evaluation includes:

Determination of the body mass index (BMI is ratio of height to weight and normal value is below 25 )

Distribution of fat based upon the waist circumference

Investigation for comorbid: conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high lipid levels, hypertension and heart disease.

Side Effects of Fat Burners

Predominant side effects orlistat therapy – most commonly usedweight loos medicine and generally considered safe – are gastrointestinal, including:

  • Increased intestinal sounds and cramps
  • Flatus
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Oily spottingFlatus with discharge
  • Flatus with discharge

These side effects occur at frequency rates of 15 to 30 per cent and tens to occur early and subside as patients learn how to avoid these problems by avoiding high fat diets and sticking to recommended intake of on more than 30 per cent fat.

There is no evidence of an increased risk of:

  • Gallstones
  • Renal Stones
  • Cardiovascular
  • Central nervous system events.

Persons with pre-existing sever heart disease and sever hypertension run the risk of cardiac complication and should avoid orlistat or any other weight loss drug therapy.

Absorption of Vitamins A and E may be slightly reduced in some patients receiving orlistat.

Severe liver injury even leading to death has been rarely reported with the use of orlistat.

Patients who take orlistat should contact the doctor, if the following symptoms develop:

  • Itching
  • Jaundice
  • Pale colour stools
  • Anorexia develops. Oxalate-induced acute kidney injury has also been reported in orlistat users.

Some pills contain a combination of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, caffeine and norephedrine, that can pose a potential danger to the patient.

Excess caffeine in tablet from may cause insomnia, palpitations etc.

Epherdra, a compound related to ephedrine, causes:

  • Palpitations
  • Strokes
  • Addiction liability
  • Even death


The composition, quality, efficacy and safety of several weight loss pills available over the country and online need to be verified.

These can pose a potential danger to the patient.

Hence, patients should strictly consult a physician before they start taking any Fat Burner Pills.


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    • sandeep15r profile image

      Sandeep Rathore 2 years ago from New Delhi

      A great hub, thanks.

    • profile image

      Johng381 3 years ago

      I really like your writing style, excellent info, thank you for putting up bbekacfeceke

    • sriramapriya profile image

      sriramapriya 4 years ago from India

      Thank you very much. I too face same problem.. Just now am recovering from these pills. Now my body is not supports to take even headache pills also.

    • passionate77 profile image

      passionate77 4 years ago

      great hub , nice info, there was a time when i also intended to use such supplements but then my doctor warned me about fatal hidden side effects of such pills, thanks for sharing dear!