Fat Blockers

Fat blockers are a form of weight loss supplement that are marketed to individuals who want assistance in reducing the amount of fat that is absorbed into the body from consumed foods. While some fat blockers can indeed help to stop a portion of the consumed fats from being absorbed, it will require careful monitoring of the diet to make sure that weight loss actually occurs and that unpleasant side effects do not result.


Before taking fat blockers, speak with your doctor about dietary and exercise suggestions to ensure that you will receive the best results from these products.


Two of the most common ingredients in over the counter fat blockers are chitosan and Opuntia ficus-indica. Chitosan is a substance that has been included in these products for some time, and it has been studied off and on over the years. An Obesity Reviews issue from February 2005 featured the results of a study on this substance, which showed that over a period of one month, dieters who were given this supplement los an average of only one pound. These, and similar findings, indicated that this ingredient was not able to help dieters to achieve significant weight loss.


On the other hand, Opuntia ficus-indica, which is also known as the Indian Fig or the Barbary Fig, as well as the prickly pear. This plant has been used in natural medicine and in cooking all over central and South America, as well as throughout Africa. When used in weight loss products, it is called a fat binder. This, and additional claims that its high fiber content can offer some appetite suppression, have made it a very popular diet pill ingredient.


The claim, which is supported by a controlled study, is that the fibers of this cactus like plant join with the molecules of fat consumed in food, making them too large for the body to absorb. Therefore, it cannot be digested and it passes through the body and is excreted with the rest of the waste. Unfortunately, as was the case with chitosan, although it can effectively block fat, it has not been shown to be able to produce any notable weight loss results unless it is used in doses that are ten times the typical over the counter product amount.


Side effects of using these ingredients can include mild bloating, nausea, diarrhea, loose or oily stool, abdominal cramping, and headache. Allergies to Opuntia ficus-indica are not uncommon.

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