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Question: Hi I'm 17 years old. And I want to lose weight and I've been thinking about trying Hydroxycut or some kind of weight-loss supplement and can't decide which is best for me I keep reading the reviews and the side effects of each pill and everything says there's really bad side effect. I'm scared for each pill but I really want to lose weight I'm 5'2 and 144 pounds. I want to go back to 115-120 pounds. Please I need advice
Answer: Hello and thank you for your question!
We can certainly give you some information to help you make a decision. We always like to preface our information on diet pills etc. with the necessity of good diet and exercise when trying to lose weight. Just taking a diet pill will not yield the results you want. Working out (be it walking, running, lifting light weights) and eating right are essential and will help you reach your weight loss goals.
Regarding Hydroxycut, the new product out on the shelves now is a reformulated version from the original. The original contained an ingredient known as Ephedra, as did many other weight loss products. While very effective for weight loss, it was linked to heart problems and seizures in the people taking it. It is a strong stimulant and is now actually banned in over the counter products in the USA. Some of the bad side effects you are reading about could be regarding the old product. Just something to be aware of!
In terms of the current Hydroxycut product, it probably is the most common over the counter weight loss supplement. In terms of the side effects you are reading about, weight loss products in general usually share the same possible side effects due to their similarities to each other. The main ingredient is almost all of them is caffeine, which as your probably know is a stimulant found in coffee, sodas, energy drinks etc.. If you have sensitivity to caffeine, stimulants, or are sensitive to medication in general, you might want to look at other options for weight loss.
The other ingredients in weight loss products are a combination of herbal ingredients. While they may or may not be effective, the problem is they are not very well studied for their effects and side effects. Most of the side effects people get on weight loss supplements are either a result of the excess caffeine or a result of the herbal ingredients. You probably will read in reviews some people getting rashs or other allergic reactions. Most people are fine taking products like Hydroxycut, but they just contain so many ingredients that aren't well known, so it is difficult to know if you will have a problem with any of them.
Having said all that, I thought I would break down the ingredients in Hydroxycut and let you know if they have any evidence for effectiveness. There are a lot of different Hydroxycut products out there so I'll be using the Hydroxycut Max for Women as a reference:
Each serving of the product contains what the manufacturer calls "Hydroxycut Max Blend 456mg":
Caffeine Anhydrous: Caffeine as stated above, is a stimulant that is contained in coffee, soda etc... It is usually safe in appropriate doses but could cause issues with anxiety, nervousness. Too much caffeine can cause a raise in blood pressure and certain heart problems. It certainly is not recommended to anyone with a heart condition.
Alchemila Vulgaris (Lady's Mantle) - There isn't many studies regarding this product. It has been used historically for many centuries in Europe for certain blood disorders. As far as I can tell, there doesn't appear to be many side effects that have been reported with it's use.
Olea Europara (Wild Olive) - I couldn't find any scientific information regarding this used by itself for weight loss. It historically has been used as an antibiotic and antiviral supplement. It doesn't appear to have any drug interactions
Cuminum Cyminum (Komijn) - This herbal product has been used for centuries for many different indications including it's ability to induce diuresis (loss of water through urination). This might be why it is included in the product as diuretics can a loss of excess water weight and can reduce bloating as well. It also may have slight stimulant effects and also effects on lowering your blood sugar. Cuminum is a popular food spice that you would be able to find in many homes and supermarkets. Since cuminum is a spice, it may cause some slight nausea or stomach pain if you are sensitive to certain spices or have had a problem with ulcers in the past.
Mentha Longifolia (Wild Mint) - This product is in the mint family and is usually referred to as peppermint. Peppermint has a long history of use as a supplement for multiple different indications. Most commonly it is used for stomach disturbances such as nausea and indigestion. It has also been used for treating headaches. There have been studies showing that peppermint can cause weight loss. It appears to be very well tolerated.
All of the other ingredients are various types of amino acids and vitamins that most people shouldn't have a problem with.