Diet Pills: Should you try? Do they work?

  • Published
  • By Wendi Knowles
  • Health and Wellness Center
January is the time for New Year's resolutions and for many people, weight loss is on the top of the list.

If you look at advertising in January, most vendors have their sales and marketing focused on weight loss and fitness. Heavy advertising recommends buying this or that product and they will all help weight loss. Some even promise that just taking the pill will melt the fat away.

Many people want to believe all the promises, but the No. 1 rule on supplements is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In fact, some of them can be harmful. Dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago, according to an analysis by a national network of liver specialists.

Be an educated consumer and use Operation Supplement Safety before you spend your money. When you hear Dr. Oz recommend a new weight loss product, look it up. When your buddy says to try out this new pill, look it up. Be safe, not sorry.

OPSS is a free service that the Department of Defense provides to assist everyone on Tinker with making informed decisions on supplements. From any computer connected to the network, you can immediately look up supplements by name or ingredient and the site will rank the supplement for use and provide up to date science that will support or discourage the use of the product.

Americans spend an estimated $32 billion on dietary supplements every year. Unfortunately, our health as a nation is not improving with all these supplements. There are products that can help and there are ones that can hurt. Look up the product and always talk with your doctor before using supplements. Supplements are unregulated so the only reliable source of information you have is OPSS, not friends, TV doctors or commercials.

Weight loss supplements are one of the top three supplements that are found to have illegal substances in them. The other two: muscle building and male enhancement.
OPSS can be found at http://hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/opss. They also have an app that can be downloaded from the app store or google play so you can use the information when you are on the go. You will need to set up an account to use the app. our account will need to include your us.af.mil email to get the free access. Sign up today.

Stay up-to-date with www.facebook.com/operationsupplementsafety.

Start the New Year off right -- look it up.