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06 Apr 2003

Fat Catchers.
There are a host of pills on the market at the moment claiming to block fat thereby allowing people to eat what they like and not put on weight. Is there any medical evidence to show that these pills actually work? Are they not perhaps just placebos?
Answer 684 views
Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Ralthor
Most of these pills either contain pectin (derived from citrus or other fruits), or indigestible fibres such as psyllium. Theoretically the intake of large quantities of dietary fibre can interfere with the uptake of food (not just fat) and of course increasing one's intake of an indigestible fibre like the psyllium will also cause diarrhoea which interferes with food uptake. It is, therefore, possible that taking these products may reduce the nutrient intake. The problem is that it will also interfere with the uptake of essential nutrients such as minerals and some vitamins. In addition having chronic diarrhoea results in damage to the gastrointestinal tract. These pills are also always used in conjunction with low-energy diets, so it is not clear if the pills are causing the weight loss due to malabsorption, or if it is the diet that is responsible. Most people would achieve the same effect if they eat a balanced diet that is low in fat and high in fibre, without the expense of having to buy these pills and without developing chronic diarrhoea.
Best regards
DietDoc
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