Body Solutions(TM) and several other products now being advertised suggest you can lose weight while you sleep, but a USC pharmacologist said the only thing you are guaranteed to lose by trying these products is your hard-earned cash.
James Adams, associate professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology, said that these products are essentially just concoctions of vitamins and minerals�usually nothing harmful, but also nothing that will help a person lose weight.
Because these products are not advertised as food or medicine, they skirt approval by the Food and Drug Administration and remain entirely unregulated.
Therefore, they can be legally promoted as aiding weight loss, even if there is no proof that they do so, Adams said.
“The directions on the night-time weight loss products say to take it after dinner and then to refrain from eating again before bedtime, so it can work simply by making a person cut down on their after-dinner snacking. If you don’t eat between dinner and bedtime, you could very well lose weight,” he said.
Adams also warns that some supplements include natural ingredients such as ephedra-related compounds or aloe vera that can be potentially harmful.
“Ephedra is no longer approved by the FDA for weight loss because it only works in the short term and can cause addiction. It’s like an amphetamine and can cause insomnia, tremors and anxiety�it’s not something people should be using,” he said.
Aloe vera, which can be beneficial for the skin, acts as a laxative and diuretic when ingested.
Again, this will cause short-term weight loss, but is potentially harmful because it can cause a potassium deficiency, which impairs heart and muscle function.
“The simple fact of weight loss is that you have to exercise and get muscle tone and eat less,” Adams said.
“This is the best way to lose pounds and keep them off.”