2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Diet Drugs

Posted 02/26/2007

Hoffmann-La Roche, a pharmaceutical industry giant, enjoyed a tasty chunk of good news this month. Their friends at the ever-cooperative FDA have allowed them to bring a milder version of their prescription fat-blocking drug, Xenical, to the over-the-counter market this summer. The new OTC drug is called alli.

The particular chemical people will be swallowing in alli is orlistat, which causes the body to absorb fewer calories. This is because the “blocked” molecules of fat now travel through your intestines, and the next day, you can flush the little villains down your toilet.

There were naysayers (I among them) who questioned whether taking Xenical was the best approach to weight loss. The drug blocks only about a third of your fat intake, and you could do a lot better yourself on a whole foods, low-fat, restricted portion program and avoid the side effects.

Did I mention side effects?

The commonest by far is an uncomfortable bloating, with some people reporting mild nausea, apparently from all that unabsorbed fat. The consistency of your bowel movement changes, usually something loose, greasy, and foul smelling. Then, there’s the infamous “fecal leakage,” the only proper way to describe an unexpected poop-in-your-pants accident.

Imagine yourself at the health club, in your new workout gear. You feel kind of queasy from the Xenical and regret challenging its effectiveness with that pepperoni pizza last night. The aerobic class starts, and after a dozen hops, disaster happens. You grab your towel to cover your rapidly staining behind and race out the door.

An event like this could happen anywhere. You could also be in the window seat of a transatlantic flight. Or in the second row center at “Wicked.”

Another real concern are vitamin deficiencies. Four vitamins require fat in order for your body to absorb them: A, D, E, and K. You’ve already read here that there’s a national epidemic of low vitamin D and that low levels of D have been linked to increased risks of breast and colon cancer. It’s years too early to make a pronouncement about long-term use of fat-blocking drugs, low vitamin D, and cancer, but why add something new to your list of health concerns?

During TV commercials for alli, the bloat, nausea, “leakage,” and vitamin deficiencies will whiz by, read by a voiceover at the speed of a cattle auctioneer.

One alternative to pill-popping for weight loss is the food plan I present in The Triple Whammy Cure. It eliminates calorie-rich, nutrition-poor junk and processed foods from your diet and replaces them with whole-food–real food–alternatives. Combining the food plan with a 20-minute daily brisk walk is a fine way to start maintaining your weight, and losing weight too.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Pain Relief with Therapy Balls
Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 6 – 7:30 PM
With Yoga and Movement Therapist Renee Zambo, RYT
Course Fee: $65.00
(includes WHC Myofascial Release Kit, $40 value)

Does that same spot in your neck, shoulders, back or hips seem to bother you every day? Do you have joint aches and pains in the hands and feet? Would you like to learn ways to alleviate that pain and tension?

Join us for this workshop if you experience:
• Chronic Pain • Arthritis • Back, Neck, Shoulder or Hip Pain • Muscular Tension • Injuries • Plantar Fasciitis • Scar Tissue • Tension Headaches • And More!

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • I Feel So Inflamed!

    And among other symptoms, indeed she was. Julia, a bright 40-something, had written “fatigue,” “pain,” “bad digestion,” and “brain fog” on her WholeHealth Chicago intake paperwork. She’d been ill for years and brought with her two binders full of medical info on herself. The thicker of these contained accumulated medical records, lab tests, imaging studies, and physician summaries. At first glance, it appeared the various Read More

  •  “I’m Really Confused About Sun Exposure”

    Julie was heading for an all-inclusive week in Cancun to loll on a vast expanse of beach, soaking up rays and having someone named Juan bring her endless pina coladas (she planned to get her money’s worth). Sounded pretty nice to me. After months of Chicago overcast/gray, it seemed like a perfect way to put seasonal affective disorder to bed for the winter. Julie was Read More

  • Here’s What You Should Know About Lyme Disease

    In H.G. Wells’s novel (and Steven Spielberg’s movie) War of the Worlds, aliens invade Earth, fully intending to destroy it. Despite our best efforts to defend ourselves, we’re clearly losing until suddenly all the aliens start dying off. Scientists later discover the aliens had no immunity to Earth’s bacteria. The evil aliens were out of their territory and paid the price with their lives. With the Read More

April Sale: 20% off Four Elements Organic Herbals Tea Blends

Celebrate the arrival of spring with 20% off Four Elements Organic Herbals tea blends. Based in central Wisconsin, Four Elements has been dedicated to organic growing for nearly three decades. These herbal tea blends are made with their hand-harvested organic herbs and packaged in oxygen-bleached paper. Purchase now       More Info