Most people, even the savviest shoppers among us, tend to believe that if something is labeled "all-natural" and is sold in a shiny bottle with a fancy label promoting good health and/or well-being, it's probably good for us. Or at least not nefariously, secretly bad for us. But most people are wrong, according to a new report from the FDA, at least in the case of weight loss supplements. That's right, the Food & Drug Administration (finally) went and tested 21 "all-natural" diet aids in a lab and found that 9 of the 21 products contained "beta-methylphenethylamine, a 'non-natural' amphetamine-like compound." Companies argue that it is natural, because it's derived from a plant called Acacia rigidula, but the ingredient's origin is really beside the point, which is: This sh*t is DANGEROUS, and it's being marketed irresponsibly. I should know.
A few years ago, I walked into a big, national chain-type vitamin store, which I will refrain from naming here, and asked the salesperson to steer me toward some type of energy-enhancing supplement. "I'm not trying to lose weight and I don't want to take anything to help me train harder at the gym," I explained, "I'm just a single working mom who needs to stay up late a lot of the time and coffee ain't cutting it anymore."
"Oh, I have the perfect thing for you," said the young dude waiting on me. "These are pretty powerful," he added, reaching for a clear bottle filled with purple capsules, "but they'll definitely help you stay up at night."
I thanked him, paid for the pills, swallowed the recommended dose, and left. Approximately one hour later, I was covered in sweat, my skin flushed bright red, and my heart pounding like mad, standing naked in front of the air conditioner in my bedroom trying to decide if I should go to the emergency room for what I was almost certain was a heart attack. WTF was in that stuff?! I wondered. Now I know: Some weirdo form of amphetamine. Luckily, the episode passed without me having to visit the hospital, but I would never dream of taking that sh*t again. Plus, what if I'd had a pre-existing heart condition? I can easily see how someone with certain health issues could die from taking one of these so-called natural supplements.
In conclusion: Buyer, BEWARE.
Have you ever had a bad experience with an "all-natural" weight loss supplement?
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