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Alli, a Weight Loss Product
Including Side Effects, Ingredients

Article by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

What is Alli & How it Works

Odds are, if you're trying to lose weight you've probably heard about this product. Or perhaps you have seen it displayed inside your local supermarket. But is Alli right for you?

On February 7, 2007 the FDA approved Alli (trade name for the 60 mg capsule of Orlistat) to be sold over the counter as well as to be marketed as a weight loss aid.

This non prescription weight loss aid is intended to help the overweight individual lose more weight than dieting alone (you'll lose about 2-3 more pounds for every 5 pounds you lose). In studies, most individuals lost 5 to 10 pounds over a six month period with most of the weight that was lostoccurring within the first six months.

Weight gain may ensure after Alli is discarded, even with a reduced calorie diet and exercise plan in place. In such event, the recommendation is to resume use of  Alli.

There are many things to consider before taking Alli - and even the product label recommends embracing a reduced calorie diet and exercise program for weight loss before taking this product.

The most troublesome downside to Alli appears to be bowel issues, some of which may prove embarrassing as well as uncomfortable. Getting gas at work, then having an accident ensue can present bigger issues than the need to lose weight. Only you and your doctor can decide if Alli is right for you.

Digestive Impact of Alli

- It works in the digestive system by attaching to the body's intestinal enzymes, preventing them from digesting the fat in the foods consumed.

Alli supposedly blocks about one quarter of the fats consumed which transfers into calories being passed out of the body rather than excess calories being transferred into fat.

Jitters, Insomnia, Racing Heart Not Associated With Alli

- It reportedly does not cause jitters, sleeping difficulties or a racing heart - common symptoms associated with most weight loss products.

Guidelines of the Plan

In conjunction with this product the following is recommended:

Multi-Vitamin a Must

- Individuals taking Alli should take daily multivitamin supplements.

Eating Plan Guidelines for Alli: Fat 15 Grams Maximum Per Day

- It should only be used in conjunction with a reduced calorie, low fat  diet plan - about 15 fat grams per day which in our opinion can present fertile ground for health issues as the body requires a certain amount of fat per day from the daily diet.

Too little fat in the diet can lead to serious health issues - as well as disturbing 'appearance' issues such as massive hair loss.

Exercise a Must

- It should be used in conjunction with an exercise plan.

Our Recommendation for Individuals Considering This Product for Weight Loss

Unlike the FDA, we cannot recommend Alli for weight loss due to intestinal disruptions as well vitamin absorption issues. In addition, the weight loss reported in studies is less than the weight loss which typically occurs with a reduced calorie diet (2 pounds per week).

Perhaps the participants didn't reduce their calories sufficiently to achieve a 2 pound per week rate of weight loss - because the amount of weight lost over a six month period isunimpressive, particularly considering the side effects associated with this product.

In addition, loose stools on a regular basis (no pun intended) is a serious issue and has the potential to create an imbalance in the body's precious electrolytes - as well as other intestinal track issues, such as an irritated colon.

For argument's sake, let us use the 10 pound rate of weight loss over the six month period. This equals a reduction of 35,000 calories and works out to 194.4 calories per day over a 180 day period. And let us keep in mind that this product supposedly helps one lose an additional 2-3 pounds for every 5 pounds of weight that is lost. Therefore, based on this information the amount of calories that necessitated reduction from the daily diet over a 6-month period (or 180 days) is less than 100 calories per day. Surely the participants subtracted this tiny number of calories from their daily diet?

What are the Side Effects of Alli?

- Change in bowel habits. Predominantly, loose stools (a low fat diet reportedly reduces this side effect). In some individuals, the stools may be difficult to control.

- May reduce the absorption of vitamins.

- May cause gas with oily spotting.

Who Should Not Take Alli?

- Individuals under the age of 18.

- Those who are not overweight, who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding.

- People who have food absorption issues.

- Individuals who have diabetes, thyroid disease, or who take blood thinners should first consult their doctors before using as well as those with prior gallbladder issues, kidney stones or pancreatitis.

- Should not be taken by individuals who have had an organ transplant.

- Those taking cyclosporine or  warfarin should not take this product without first consulting with their doctor.

- Should not be taken in conjunction with other weight loss products without first consulting a doctor.

Contents of this product:

Active ingredient: Orlistat 60 mg. Orlistat is a weight loss aid.

Inactive ingredients: FD& C Blue No. 2, edible ink, gelatin, iron oxide, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, sodium lauryl, sodium starch glycolate, talc, and titanium dioxide.

In Summary

It's important to keep in mind that Alli is not intended to be a miracle weight loss drug, rather a weight loss program which teaches the individual how to subscribe to a healthy daily diet while losing unwanted pounds. In short - it isn't going to peel off the unwanted weight unless the individual reduces their daily calorie intake as well as embraces a moderate activity plan.

If you are considering this product for weight loss - we suggests the following:

1. Give weight loss a try without using this product for 1 week and record your results.

2. Give weight loss the Alli try for the following week and record your results.

You may be surprised to learn that you'll do just as good without this product than with - without being dependent upon pills and their uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing side effects.

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