When you see an ad that suggests that a pill can help you lose weight permanently without dieting or exercising, do you believe it? The fact is that no such pill exists. But the facts don't stop a multi million dollar flourishing with those exact claims. Unlike drugs that must be proven safe and effective, nutritional supplements are regulated just like any other consumer product. As long as they don't do any harm, they contain what is on the bottle and the manufacturer does not make claims about them that are not backed up by scientific study, they are perfectly legal. This is the basis of the Nutraceutical market, carefully crafted suggestions that use vague, implied promises for boosting, enhancing or stimulating particular body functions that lead to weight loss. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a number of state Attorney General have successfully brought cases against marketers of pills claiming to absorb or burn fat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned 111 ingredients once found in over-the-counter diet products. None of these substances, which include alcohol, caffeine, dextrose, and guar gum, have proved effective in weight-loss or appetite suppression.
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