It has been more than 10 years since the FDA approved a weight loss drug. This is because of the fears of the effects of weight loss drugs in the past causing heart valve problems. Yes that's a bad "side effect".
Recently a new drug was released and approved by the FDA. It is called Belviq. The fact that it passes may seem like great news for people who want to lose weight. But we do need to look at the details of the studies done to see if its worth not only its price in dollars, but also its potential negative effects.
As you read on, please remember that drugs don't have "side effects" they only have "effects".
Lets take a look at the results of the study given in the link above. It's a wall of text so I will break it down simply.
- The trial subjects used the drug for 1-2 years.
- The trial INCLUDED lifestyle changes, nutrition changes, and exercise. This meant eating less and starting an exercise program
- 47% of patients who did not have diabetes lost at least 5% of their weight over 1-2 years. Only 23% got this result with the placebo
- 38% of patients who had diabetes lost at least 5% of their body weight over 1-2 years Only 16% of patients got this result with a placebo.
Let's take a look at the results...
- 5% of their weight? Was it muscle loss or fat loss? If it was fat loss, that's good, but if it was muscle, that's terrible news. 5% loss of muscle in a 80kg man is 4kg of lean mass which would drop his metabolic rate by hundreds of calories per day, leading to a regaining of fat once he eats normally again. The study is unclear about this.
- Is 4kg of weight loss over 1-2 years a good result? That's an average of let's say 36 months. 4kg divided by 36 months is... 111 grams per month. Is that good? In my experience with clients at Genesis Gym, you would lose more fat that than simply changing your starches from refined white sugar and rice to unprocessed starches like sweet potatoes and oats. And you would lose far more than that if you changed the starches to green veggies.
- Is it a good "incremental" improvement over a placebo? only 24% more than placebo (47%-23%), of the non diabetes group got the very minimal improvements listed above, and 22% in the diabetes group. Thats about 1 in 5 people getting even the minimal benefits listed. Many of them got some benefits simply from the lifestyle and exercise plan - and we have no idea how good this plan was.
And lets not forget the "side effects", oops, I mean "effects".
- Not good for pregnant women
- Not good if you are depressed or on a drug for another addiction (Because this drug messes with your seratonin receptors which regulate mood).
- Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, excessively low blood sugar, back pain, cough, fatigue...
All this for 111g of weight loss per month? Well at least it doesn't damage your heart valves!
For the best fitness boot camp program, ExpressFIT program in the CBD, and personal training in Singapore visit www.genesisgym.com.sg or the Genesis Gym facebook page. Or visit Coach Jonathan's homepage and blog at www.coachjon.com