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Slimming Products And Beauty Supplements In Malaysia
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It’s no secret that most if not all of us desire to look our very best. For eons, we have struggled with the disease that is obesity and countless methods were designed to help us lose weight. From slimming centers to homemade recipes, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to lowering the number on our weighing scales.
In general, we can categorise slimming products into 2 categories:
- Non-medication (diet supplements)
We will be focusing on the supplement side of things in this article.
Should I Be Taking Weight Loss Products?
Being overweight is one of the biggest contributing factor to a plethora of diseases like heart failure, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. To know if you are overweight, the Body Mass Index is a simple and useful method.
To calculate your BMI, simply use the following formula: (Weight in KG) / (Height in M)2
According to the Centre for Disease control (CDC), if your BMI > 25, you are considered overweight.
If that is the case for you, now is a good time to cut those calories and lose a few pounds. Here are a few examples which are commonly available in Malaysia to aid you in that journey.
|18.5-24.9||Normal or Healthy Weight|
|30 and above||Obese|
Types Of Ingredients In Weight Loss Products
These help your body to detox and removes excessive toxins, fat and cholesterol. This is helpful for those who experience constipation and bloated tummies as well. Watch out for product labels as there are teas which do not cause diarrhea and that can be a plus point for some of you who do not wish to run to the toilet in the middle of your day.
2) African Mango
African mango, or Irvingia gabonensis, aids your body in burning fat and improves digestion. It also stimulates leptin hormones which reduces hunger. Its high soluble fibre content helps in delaying stomach emptying as well.
3) Apple cider vinegar
It’s no myth that the benefits of apple cider vinegar are vast. ACV aids in weight loss by suppressing appetite so you do not binge or snack as much. Its main component, acetic acid, promotes weight loss also by reducing fat storage and improves metabolism.
4) Garcinia Cambogia
This is another common ingredient found in many weight loss supplements. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is found in its fruit’s rinds help in cutting down body fat and suppresses appetite. This is achieved by increasing the level of serotonin (a hormone which suppresses appetite).
5) Green Coffee Extract
Green coffee refers to coffee beans which are not roasted. Naturally, coffee beans are green in color and turns brown upon roasting. Its weight loss effect is credited to the chlorogenic acid present in green coffee extracts. It may also help in reducing cholesterol in the body.
6) Gymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema is a shrub which has been widely used in ancient medicinal practices for thousands of years. Its main component, gymnemic acid helps block sugar receptors and thus makes sweet food less appealing. This indirectly leads to a decrease in consumption of food high in sugar which in turn helps control weight and appetite.
Chitosan is sourced from a substance known as chitin, which is found in shells of crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps and lobsters. Chitosan is claimed to be able to help your body lower its absorption of fat. It binds with fat and is excreted with stools through bowel movement. This way, less fat is accumulated in the body and this aids in weight loss.
How To Choose A Slimming Product
A common misconception that the public have about these slimming products is that they are all you need to slim down. It is important to know that there are no magical slimming products that can aid you in losing weight healthily just by itself and should always be paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Due to the great demand in these products, many are churned out year after year and some are without proper screening and authentication. This results in the increase in unlicensed slimming products appearing in the market and some ingredients might even be detrimental to your health.
Here are a few tips when it comes to choosing a slimming product:
1) Check for authenticity
When you walk into a pharmacy, you will no doubt be bombarded with countless brands of products. Although most pharmacies in Malaysia sell only registered products, always check with our pharmacy regulatory website just to be safe. Products which are registered have to go through a series of tests and quality control so you know you’re getting a safe product. You can do it via this website.
2) Watch out for interactions
Quite a number of weight loss supplements are herbal in nature. Before starting on one, be sure to seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist as some of these might interact with your current medications or medical conditions. If you are on a prescription medication, pregnant or breastfeeding, you should be especially cautious when it comes to taking additional supplements which are not recommended by your healthcare provider.
3) Avoid Miracle Products
We are often advised to shun and be extra vigilant when it comes to get-rich-quick schemes. The same goes to weight loss products. If a pill promises rapid weight loss and suggests that a healthy diet or regular exercise is not needed, be sure to conduct more research on its ingredients.
Precautions When Taking Slimming Supplements
Due to various reasons, some ingredients which were once used in slimming products are now banned in Malaysia and is not allowed to be sold as supplements. Here are some of them:
Known in mandarin as Ma Huang, it is a plant primarily found in Asia. Its effects are thought to be from the molecule ephedrine. Some studies showed that this ingredient had the potential to boost metabolism and increase weight loss and hence was used in slimming products. Although it was once sold in the market, it is now a banned substance in Malaysia in the manufacturing of natural products.
Sibutramine is a chemical substance which acts on the brain to suppress appetite, thus resulting in the effect of weight loss. Once marketed as an adjunct therapy to a controlled diet and exercise, it is now banned in Malaysia. This is due to the increased risk in getting a heart attack or stroke, especially in patients who have an underlying heart problem.
When it comes to slimming products, the adage “better be safe than sorry” cannot be more relevant. The general rules in taking supplements and medications do apply:
- Seek advice from your doctor / pharmacist before starting
- Adhere to the dosage instructions given on the packaging
- Do your research before committing to a product
- If you feel that something is not right, seek immediate medical attention
For more tips and advice on products to help you slim down, explore our various articles on topics relating to weight loss on the health supplement hub, or contact one of our pharmacists via our telepharmacy service.