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What Is a Lipotropic?

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  • Written By: Rolando Braza
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
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A lipotropic is a substance that helps break down fats in the liver. It boosts the production of lecithin by the liver to dissolve cholesterol, thus reducing the development of gallstones. It detoxifies amines. Amines are essential for individuals maintaining a diet of high protein. Lipotropics can also help prevent disease by strengthening the thymus gland. This is done by stimulating the growth of phagocytes and creation of antibodies and identifying and destroying foreign and abnormal tissues.

There are two forms of lipotropic — tablet and intramuscular injection. A doctor or nutritionist generally prescribes tablets of about 0.035 ounces (1,000 mg) in three equal doses daily. Around 0.034 ounces (1 cc) of lipotropic injection, on the other hand, is given to a person once a week. Some of the lipotropic compounds are choline, inositol, and methionine.

Choline is important in fat metabolism. It is vital in making the liver function normally. Lack of choline in the body can result in fatty degeneration of the liver, cirrhosis, and thickening of the walls of the arteries.

Inositol, together with choline, performs a major part in avoiding the accumulation of fats in the liver. It helps in the growth of hair. It is also known to ease panic attacks and depression. Along with vitamin E, inositol can help in the treatment of muscular dystrophy. Inositol can be exhausted by the presence of caffeine.

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Methionine is a vital amino acid that produces lecithin to trim down cholesterol levels and liver fat. It contains sulfur and looks after the kidneys. It also acts as a mechanism in triggering choline and inositol to perform their respective functions. Liver damage, which can be caused by acetaminophen poisoning, can also be treated using methionine.

Lipotropics have side effects. Mild side effects include swelling of the lips, mouth, or face; bad breath; and diarrhea. The serious side effects of taking lipotropics, on the other hand, are heightened heart rate, breathing difficulties, and chest tightening. A person taking a lipotropic can also experience allergies. Itching, hives, and rashes are the common allergic reactions to a lipotropic.

Food and drug authorities in certain localities regulate the use of some lipotropics due to their use in the manufacture of street drugs such as methamphetamines. Some governments either ban or restrict the sale of a lipotropic that has amphetamine-like materials. It is advisable that a person consult a doctor before taking the substance for his or her own safety.

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rugbygirl
Post 2

@MrsWinslow - Lipotropic drugs for weight loss are things like ephedra, which was banned for causing serious illnesses. You are probably thinking of drugs like orlistat (Alli over the counter) which seem to work differently from lipotropics. (I'm no expert, but what orlistat does is prevent the enzyme lipase from breaking down fat, which sounds different.)

I remember reading about these drugs that they make you get really sick if you eat a high-fat meal, so their biggest benefit might actually be the behavior modification aspect!

If you are trying to lose weight to get normal menstrual cycles going, make sure to look up the Newsweek article from a few years back about the fertility diet. It talks about what foods are helpful. (I remember that vegetable protein and whole milk dairy were both good and that white carbs were bad, but you should read the details for yourself.) Good luck with your baby dream!

MrsWinslow
Post 1

I've read about weight loss drugs that somehow prevent your body from absorbing fat. Are those lipotropic drugs for weight loss? Or do they work via some other mechanism?

I've been told that I need to lose at least thirty pounds to have a good chance of getting pregnant (I have PCOS) so I'm looking at all my options. I'm not really leaning toward taking drugs, but I want to know what's out there.

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