Is Orlistat Fat Binder Safe – Will It Help Me Lose Weight?
Orlistat is readily available from pharmacies and on prescription but is it safe and does it really work? We examine the popular fat binder.
What Is Orlistat?
Orlistat (Tetrahydrolipstatin) is a weight loss medication designed to treat obesity that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise alone.
It belongs to group of medicines known as a lipase inhibitor, these help to block the absorption of fats, which reduces the amount of calories you consume a day.
Orlistat’s main action is blocking the enzyme that breaks down the dietary fat from the foods we eat, this means instead of being absorbed by the body and digested, it is instead passed as a bowel movement.
Orlistat is most commonly known under the brand names Xenical and Alli. It is available over the counter (Alli) and a stronger variation (Xenical) is available on prescription only.
It’s prescribed mainly to those with A BMI (body mass index) of over 30 but users with a BMI of 28 upwards are sometimes prescribed orlistat if they have a health condition that is exacerbated by being overweight.
It is designed to be taken alongside a low calorie diet as it won’t block the calories from sugar or other foods. It’s said to block a third of the dietary fat that we eat.
Who Should Use Orlistat?
Orlistat if prescribed by a doctor, is given alongside a special low calorie diet and exercise program to help obese (extremely overweight) people to lose weight. It can also help you to maintain your weight loss. It should not be taken by anyone under the age of 18, pregnant or nursing mothers or people who suffer from cholestasis or malabsorption syndrome.
How To Take Orlistat
Orlistat is usually taken 3 times a day, with a glass of water either with a meal that contains fat or within 60 minutes after a meal. If your meal does not contain fat then you can skip a dose. The meals you eat should be spread over 3 main meals so you only get a certain amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates and that no more than 30% of the calories you consume a day come from fat.
It is not advised to exceed the recommended dose as it won’t make you lose weight any faster and can have some unfortunate side effects.
Most users see results quickly; within a fortnight. Although it doesn’t work for everyone so if no improvement within this time consider visiting your doctor and asking for an alternative.
It’s possible for some people to lose up to 10% of their body weight within 6 months whereas other people see little improvement even over an extended period of time.
Orlistat Side Effects
Orlistat is notorious for having some rather embarrassing, inconvenient and unpleasant side effects.
In fact, Orlistat under the brand name Alli is often nicknamed Alli-‘Oops’. Because of the common side effect of sudden diarrhoea and unexpected bowel movements that is associated with the use of Orlistat.
This unfortunately doesn’t settle down overnight.
Users have reported side effects such as:
- Oily marks and spotting in their underwear
- Oily stools
- Orange and brown oil in bowel movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach and rectal pain
- Lack of appetite
- Darker than normal urine
And more serious side effects can include;
- Increased thirst
- Breathing problems
- Lack or urination or urinating too much
- Blood in urine
Read More About The Side Effects Here (source: drugs.com)
Orlistat can also prevent the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A,E,D and K which is why you may need to take multivitamins to counteract this,
It interacts with certain medications, particularly cyclosporine and levothroxine, so it needs to be taken several hours before or after taking orlistat.
Where To Buy Orlistat in Ireland
You can buy the lower strength capsules from most major supermarkets and pharmacies but the higher strength is only obtainable on prescription from a doctor.
There’s no question that Orlistat works and for some people in extreme circumstances, orlistat is a real life saver.
But we think for the vast majority, the potentially dangerous side effects of Orlistat far outweigh the positives of taking this medication. Because it does offer a very rapid result, it has the potential to be abused and is not often taken as directed.
There are so many other safer alternatives on the market that can promote healthy and safe weight loss that will not have nearly as many nasty side effects as this one and methods that are safe for long-term use that will not have any detrimental effects on the body.
We think Alli/Xenical is strictly a last-chance saloon, where a person is so obese that their health could be in jeopardy if they don’t lose the weight quickly. But for someone who just wants to shed a few pounds, we strongly advise you to give this product a wide berth.
That being said, if you do decide to try Alli, we recommended you stay within easy reach of a toilet at all times!
Our Recommended Fat Binder
One fat binder that is particularly safe and effective and one that has medical approval, is Proactol XS.
Proactol XS is a clinically approved fat binder (that has undergone 40 medical trials) that binds up to 800 times its weight in dietary fat using the active ingredient Chitosan to provide you with the following benefits;
- Helps with appetite control and food cravings
- Aids normal digestion
- Starts working in minutes
- Binds dietary fat up to 33% more than ordinary fat binders
Natural and safe, Proactol XS has helped many women and men lose weight even celebrities such as Mischa Barton from the US TV show ‘The OC‘, who has been in and out of the media of recent months with her weight struggles, successfully lost 4lbs a week with the help of Proactol XS.