As people in the Gulf region seek out simpler ways to shed weight rapidly, doctors in the United Arab Emirates have cautioned that taking fat burners can have negative consequences and that losing weight has no effortless solution.
Despite the allure of quick results, healthcare professionals caution against taking the easy way out to lose weight, as it could lead to adverse effects rather than benefits.
The growing prevalence of fat burner usage has raised concerns among medical experts, who urge individuals to embrace healthy lifestyle habits as a better approach.
Dr. Mohammad Fityan, Head of Weight Management Clinic and Consultant Internal Medicine at Burjeel Medical City, stated on Wednesday that there is limited proof supporting the effectiveness of fat burners in weight loss. He further added that the majority of studies conducted have found no advantages of fat burners regarding weight or body composition.
Dr. Ajith Kumar, a Consultant Endocrinologist at Medeor Hospital in Dubai, advised that individuals should be conscious of any underlying health problems they may have and should consult with a doctor before choosing to use over-the-counter fat burners.
Research has demonstrated that the results produced by weight-loss supplements are not as potent as those achieved by adhering to a healthy diet and exercise.
Several dietary supplements designed to facilitate weight loss or diminish fat buildup work by encouraging lipolysis and impeding lipogenesis. Nonetheless, it is uncertain whether over-the-counter dietary supplements are free of contaminants.
Dr. Ajith Kumar elaborated that numerous supplements contain hazardous ingredients such as Sibutramine and Diuretics, which can result in severe health issues. Medications that contain Sibutramine and Rimonabant have been removed from the market due to health risks.
According to Kumar, dietary supplements fall under the regulation of food and not drugs by the US FDA, which implies that manufacturers are not obligated to furnish safety data to regulators. The use of herbal and dietary supplements, such as Usnic acid, certain green tea extracts, and guggul tree extracts, has been associated with severe liver harm.
Although marketed as a fat-burning supplement, long-term use of CLA has been linked to the development of diabetes in certain individuals.
Using fat burners can result in a variety of side effects for the average healthy person. Nausea, headaches, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues are some common side effects.
Furthermore, fat burners can interact with other medications, leading to adverse reactions and potentially causing significant health issues. The prolonged use of these supplements can cause damage to critical organs.
People with preexisting cardiovascular, renal, or liver disorders are at a higher risk and should avoid using these supplements “at all costs,” warned Dr. Ajith Kumar. While the risks associated with fat burners are not “extensive” or “irreversible” in healthy individuals, there is still no assurance that they are safe to use.
Dr. Kumar also stated that many fat burners have been linked to severe liver damage and failure, and a careful selection of their contents with the help of a doctor may be a safer option.
There is no instant solution or shortcut.
Dr. Fityan emphasized that losing weight is not a quick fix and requires comprehensive behavioral and lifestyle changes, which may include medications for specific patients.
The doctors’ remarks come in response to the increasing use of weight loss drugs and supplements that have gained popularity through TikTok trends. While Ozempic, Saxenda, and Metformin are promoted as miracle cures for shedding excess weight, only Saxenda is approved for use in obese patients to help them lose weight.
Metformin is not a weight loss medication and causes only minor weight loss, while Ozempic is primarily used to treat diabetes and helps patients lose weight. Additionally, the use of these drugs has caused adverse side effects and led to global shortages, posing a risk to diabetics and people with certain health conditions. Currently, only four drugs are approved for regulating or reducing body weight, including Orlistat, Naltrexone/bupropion, Liraglutide, and Semaglutide. However, these drugs also have potential adverse events and should be used under the guidance of a physician.