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Weight Loss Drugs Xenical And Alli Linked To Toxicity In The Liver

If you or anyone you know is taking the popular weight loss drugs Xenical or Alli, you’ll want to be aware that new research has shown a link to increased levels of toxicity in the liver, kidneys, and other internal organs. In some cases the toxicity can be severe, even with low dosages if taken for prolonged periods of time.

One of my biggest criticisms of weight loss prescription medications is the need for the compounds in the drug to be processed by the liver. So while they may be working on one end to facilitate weight loss in some cases, there’s always the increased acidity for the body to deal with.

In short, this is far from a “healing” approach to bring the body back in balance which is the root problem in the first place. Not to turn this post into a rant on all weight loss prescription medications, as some do have their place, rather let’s look specifically at what researchers have found with Xenical and Alli, both brand names for the drug orlistat.

More after the jump…

The research study conducted by the University of Rhode Island found not only the increased toxicity in internal organs, but also that these drugs may alter or compound the effects of other medications, primarily aspirin, blood thinners, and anti-cancer drugs.

Head researcher Bingfang Yan noted the following:

“Since it has been available over-the-counter, there has been a drastic increase of toxicity among patients using the drug,” Yan said. “It has been linked to severe liver failure, acute pancreatic failure and acute renal (kidney) failure.”

Yan said orlistat works in the intestinal tract by preventing fat from being absorbed by the body. It is generally accepted that orlistat remains in the intestine and that the body does not absorb it.

“But orlistat is reportedly absorbed, and certainly internal organs such as the liver and kidney are exposed to this drug upon absorption,” he said.

The study showed that the drug is a potent inhibitor of carboxylesterase-2, which is a major detoxification enzyme in the liver, kidney and gastrointestinal track. “When the activity of this enzyme drop in those organs, toxicity increases or the efficacy of some drugs are altered,” Yan said. Go to story.

The findings of this study have been reported to the FDA, and we’ll have to wait to see what action if any is taken on that end.

Certainly anyone taking these drugs or considering taking them should take these precautions seriously and discuss things with their physician. Perhaps even consider some blood work to look at inflammatory markers and indicators pointing to increased toxicity in the liver.

In my humble opinion detoxification and cellular health is at the foundation of long-term weight management. The body must be put back into balance which no drug(s) can do on their own.

My concern is that some individuals will take these drugs and continue with poor dietary habits that include consuming processed foods which leads to further toxification.

Taking a drug to block fat from being absorbed in the intestinal tract may sound like a good idea to manage weight for obese individuals, but I have issues for the mechanisms at play here. The body needs essential fatty acids and it’s not like these drugs are going to distinguish between good fat and bad fat.

Let’s just say I’m not a fan of prescription medications or over-the-counter supplements that work as “fat blockers” for weight management. They often give the false impression that you can eat your favorite foods all you want and not have to worry about the impacts.

When you’re eating healthy foods you don’t want your GI tract to blocking the absorption of anything. You want to be fully assimilating vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Each person will have to weigh out the risk versus rewards when considering any weight loss medication. I plead with you to just put some serious thought into that consideration with your long-term health in mind.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts, a Charleston personal fitness training studio that specializes in weight loss and body transformation. See our success stories from numerous Lowcountry residents then sign up for a no-obligations consultation today.

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Category: Supplements.