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Complementary Medicines for Weight Loss - Good for Your Waist or Just Good Money Wasters?

Pills, potions and powders for weight loss are everywhere! They’re in the shops, online and maybe in your home. It’s hard to spot the truth from the tales when it comes to complementary medicines for weight loss. Which ones work? Which ones don’t work? Which ones are safe?

How do you overcome the powerful marketing of complementary medicines for weight loss to make better choices? By being informed. Some complementary medicines for weight control are dangerous, while others might not even work. With National Herbal Medicine Week running from 15 to 21 September, now is a good time in particular to evaluate herbal medicines for weight loss. Read on to find out more.

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What Are Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs)?

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are health practices not considered mainstream by the medical profession. They include:
  • dietary supplements
  • herbal preparations
  • mega dose vitamins
  • acupuncture
  • massage therapy
  • meditation
  • hypnosis

What are Some Weight-Loss CAMs and Their Marketing Claims?

Go to the table on page three of this newsletter to read the marketing claims about various CAMs for weight loss. Beware, most of the claims have not been proven, and some of them have safety issues. Research on many weight loss CAMs is in its infancy.

How Effective are CAMs for Weight Loss?

Many weight-loss CAMs need more testing to see if they work
So now to one of the big questions – how good are CAMs for winning the battle of the bulge? To date there is little evidence that they help reduce body weight, but most natural weight loss products available have not been tested thoroughly. Research on these products is often done on single CAMs. Many CAM products contain more than one type of CAM. CAMs can work together to produce a greater effect than if they were taken on their own.

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Next: How Accurate is the Advertising of CAMs for Weight Loss?

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