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Dexatrim® is an over-the-counter dietary supplement that is claimed to help people lose weight while they are following a low-calorie diet. It is available in four different formulations. The formula has changed over the years to comply with U.S. law, and now consists of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. The Humanetics Corporation makes this supplement.
When it was first introduced to the market, Dexatrim® contained phenylpropanolamine (PPA). In 2000, PPA was taken off the drugstore shelves by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of concerns about increased risk of strokes. At that time, PPA was removed from Dexatrim® products. The company replaced it with ephedra. When ephedra was banned by the FDA in 2004, the company replaced that with several different herbal blends.
Dexatrim® Max Complex 7 and Dexatrim® Max Daytime Appetite Control both contain B vitamins, chromium, and calcium, as well as an herbal blend of green and oolong tea leaf extract, panax ginseng root, and caffeine. In addition, Dexatrim® Max Complex 7 contains a proprietary ingredient called 7-Keto®. Dexatrim® Natural Extra Energy and Natural Green Tea formulas contain calcium, chromium, green tea leaf extract, and panax ginseng. The Natural Extra Energy pills contain added caffeine, but there is no added caffeine in the Natural Green Tea product. Caffeine in the green tea formulation is naturally occurring.
The recommended dose is between one and three capsules per day. This provides some of the vitamins that the body needs to function at its best; there is no research, however, to suggest that they play a roll in weight loss. The green and oolong tea extracts and the panax ginseng have been shown to help with weight loss, but only very slightly. Caffeine may help weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate, reducing appetite, and increasing water loss. Caffeine is not a way to permanently lose weight and taking too much can pose risks, such as increased anxiety and shakiness.
The vitamins and minerals in these products may be taken by most people without any negative effects. The herbs in Dexatrim®, on the other hand, may not be safe for everyone. Pregnant or nursing women and those with chronic health problems should speak to their doctor prior to beginning any medication or weight loss program. The best course of action if one is attempting to lose weight may be to eat a sensible diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Daily exercise may also help people lose weight and feel healthier.