Is “Alli” Really Your Foe?

A new report came out today that states that Alli, the only over-the-counter weight loss medication approved by the FDA, may be linked with liver disease.  Although the association has not been proven, there are 27 reported cases of liver damage and 6 cases of liver failure from patients taking this medication and Xenical (the prescription version of the medication). 

These medications help with weight loss by blocking the absorption of fat, and therefore calories.  However, it is not without side effects.  One common side effect can be diarrhea and lack of control over bowl movements.  In fact, they even warn you to wear dark colored pants until you see how your body reacts to the medication. 

Another problem is that Alli can be very expensive.  It can cost up to $60 a month depending on how frequently you take it, and the benefits are modest at best.  The company states that using this medication (along with diet and exercise) can lead to a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.  With diet and exercise alone, many people can achieve this rate of weight loss. 

While I know that many people are looking for a quick fix, there is no magic pill to take.  If you do consider this medication (or any other weight loss supplement), it is best to do your research to make an informed decision and always talk to your doctor first!