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Alli is an over-the-counter weight-loss pill for overweight adults. The weight-loss drug has been on the market since 2007, when it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not a quick fix diet pill, and is by no means intended for dieters who are just looking to lose a few pounds. This pill is for dieters who are committed to long-term diet and lifestyle changes. Alli is ideally meant to be combined with a low-fat and reduced-calorie diet. The Mayo Clinic reports that it could help you lose 3-5 pounds more per year, in addition to the weight loss you could expect from diet and exercise alone.
How Alli Works
Alli is different than diet pills that act as appetite suppressants or stimulants. Instead, Alli works only in your digestive system. Orlistat is the active ingredient in the diet pill, and it works by preventing your body from breaking down and absorbing fat. The fat from your food that does not get broken down will get passed through your digestive system. The majority of the fat from your meal will get absorbed. According to the Alli website, orlistat decreases the amount of fat your body absorbs by about 25%. It is recommended that meals contain no more than 15 grams of fat. This could be a hard adjustment for some dieters initially. It is advisable to begin eating a low-fat diet several days prior to starting Alli.
Health Concerns and Side Effects
With any diet pill, whether it is prescription strength or not, it is important to explore the possible side effects of the medication. The Mayo Clinic points out an important side effect that is not discussed on the manufacturer's website. Taking Alli will decrease the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and E. This can be remedied by taking a daily vitamin. Even though you do not need a doctor to prescribe Alli, it is important to let your doctor know if you are considering taking the diet pill. This way you can avoid possible nutritional deficiencies that could result from orlistat.
Alli takers may also experience some unpleasant side effects due to the undigested fat that is being passed through their digestive system. Side effects include, gas with an oily anal discharge, loose stools or diarrhea, more-frequent bowel movements, and hard-to-control bowel movements. The risk for these side effects is increased when more than 15 grams of fat are consumed at meal time.
If you think Alli may be an option for you, it is a good idea to see your doctor before committing to the Alli weight-loss plan. It is really beneficial to have a medical professional in your court who can help you weigh out the pros and cons of a weight-loss program.
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