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Flip Side to Your Health
Flip side to health is dedicated to examining the other side of the coin concerning a health product's claims. There are always two sides to every story and that applies to product claims made by manufacturers.
Of course advertisers want to present their products in the most glowing terms possible. After all, they are in business to make a profit by selling them to consumers.
There is nothing wrong with making a profit; and there is nothing wrong about pointing out a product's positive points. However, manufacturers begin to cross the line when they mislead consumers by using ambiguous terms and language intended to blind side.
Flip side to health will examine all manufacturers' claims, any studies that may be available and who performed them, and consumer feedback if any. It is important for you to know if there is any science behind the product.
I first became aware of Sensa while watching CNN. The commercial presented this product as an amazing new weight loss product.
Sensa has big league media backing - CBS, Fox, New York Times, and Shape. The Times says, "a slimmer you may be a whiff away." CBS says, "the newest weiglt-loss success story."
First off, Sensa is not a "new" diet plan. As a matter of fact, it is not a diet plan at all.It is actually a product which is used supplementally to your daily food intake. It is poured onto your food just like salt and pepper.
The product is listed as having maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, and natural and artificial ingredients. Since the exact formulations of the natural and artificial ingredients are proprietary, these ingredients are unknown.
The official Sensa website descibes the product:
"The scientific principle behind SENSA® is remarkably simple. As you eat, smell and taste receptors send messages that tell your body it's time to stop eating. This is a phenomenon we call Sensory Specific Satiety. By enhancing smell, SENSA® Tastants were designed to help speed up the process and trigger your "I feel full" signal, so you eat less and feel more satisfied. Because SENSA®works with your body's natural impulses, rather than against them, there are no feelings of hunger or intense cravings".
Sensa is based on making your brain "think" that your stomach is full after eating a certain amount of food. Science has discovered that appetite is dependent in large part to serotonin levels. Simply put, serotonin increases satiety (feeling of fullness) naturally.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which has a role in regulating sleep, the ability to learn, mood, the constriction of blood vessels, and suppressing the appetite. The body manufactures serotonin after carbohydrates are consumed.
But now let's examine the flip side to Sensa - the flip side to health. Does it actually measure up to all the media hooplah?
Dr. Alan Hirsch, Sensa's creator, claims to have presented results from his study to the Endocrine's Society annual meeting in 2008. According to him, the society reviewed and gave their seal of approval to his work. The society on the other hand states that they invited Dr. Hirsch to merely present his evidence for review and debate (Avila, Jim, August 1, 2008, para. 16.)
The Sensa study is also claimed to have been peer-reviewed. That means that the study was independently studied by experts in the field and endorsed. The study claims also should have been published in reputable medical journal.
There are no peer-reviewed studies to date! (WebMED.com) The only studies performed were by Dr. Hirsch himself - hardly an impartial researcher!
Because there have been no independent clinical trials validating Sensa's claims, weight loss experts and nutritionists, myself included, recommend that traditional methods be used to lose weight. There is no magic bullet to weight loss no matter what the credentials of the person leading you to believe there are.
Customer satisfaction and experience with a consunmer product has enormous value. Here is a sampling of customer reviews taken from Amazon.com:
"...A last point of interest, of the (only!) ninety-two people included in the study, their average weight loss for each month, by month, was (only!), in pounds: 3.3, 2.5, .1, .2, .6, and 0. In conclusion, the weight loss described (in the patent application, at least) seems very modest given the cost of a potentially dangerous product" (K. Ross.)
"Seriously! How could I have been so stupid as to think that this product would work. Decreases appetite? NOT a CHANCE! I read the positive reviews prior to purchasing Sensa. I do believe the Sensa manufacturers got some of their employees to write these fake reviews. I noticed NO change in my appetite...nada...zip... nothing. I used it exactly how instructed. Don't waste your money, folks. Yet another unfortunate scam on the American public" (Huron, OH.)
"Doesn't work. Save your money on something legitimate like a workout regime along with an improved diet. This stuff is not going to reduce your appetite. Tried it and it's just a flatout scam. The only people who say it works are company representatives. I did try it through the free trail however they wanted me to pay like $60 for me to continue "my product evaluation", needless to say I just canceled my debit card and got a new one to not deal with it" (Ashley.)
"For me didn't work for nothing, only for explain for friends what means that powder. I didn't see any difference in appetite or at the scale. Sorry" (Meire.)
"This product works well IF you remember to use it. The problem is that it is almost impossible to remember to use it. My issue is not with the
product but with the company. The "trial" offer only costs $5 . . . Until the "completion" of the trial, when they charge you $96 for the trial
which they refuse to refund. IF you try this, make SURE to cancel before the end of the trial date or they will stick you with the extra charge"
As one who is opposed to weight loss through drugs, I was amused by a television commercial about an over-the-counter drug named Alli. I had turned on CNN to catch a few minutes of news when the commercial aired.
Naturally the manufacturer painted a picture of a wonder drug which could melt away those stubborn pounds that resist all efforts to go away. However they conveniently and purposefully avoid detailing all safety issues and side effects.
Your digestive tract contains an enzyme called lipase to break down dietary fat. This fat, depending on what the body needs at the time, either stores it away or burns it for energy.
Alli lowers the absorption of fat from your diet by switching off lipase. The unmetabolized fat continues through the intestines and is removed during bowel movements.
What the manufacturer neglects to mention is that the removal of fat also carries along with it the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and beta carotene. These nutrients are crucial for your health and you will have to take a supplement to compensate their loss.
Alli is designed to work in conjunction with an exercise program and a low calorie diet.
The label cautions the user to eat no more than 15 grams of fat per meal when taking Alli. The drug can be taken up to three times a day.
The side effects can be embarrasing; eating more than 15 grams of fat per meal can cause urgent bowel movements, diarrhea, gas with oily spotting. Until you know how it affects you, the manufacturer advises wearing drak clothing and carrying a change of clothes when at work.
Users are also advised to be watchful for itching, appetite loss, yellow eyes and/or skin, borwn urine, or light-colored stool. Any of these signs could signal liver damage.
There is no sensible and healthy way to lose weight other than zeroing in on the problem, and treating it naturally rather chemically. The problem may be the food you eat (GMOs, antibiotic-laden, artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, stress, etc.)
"The health risks associated with Alli would be unacceptable even if the drug worked, but the drug’s efficacy is minimal at best. Alli has made quite a media splash, but in terms of effectiveness, this has been much ado about nothing.
"In clinical trials lasting for one year, patients taking the drug lost an average of only 13.4 pounds, compared to 5.8 pounds with placebo. That means that, after taking the drug up to three times daily for a full year, enduring serious restrictions on fat intake and all the unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects, patients will still lose only an average of 7.6 pounds" (Citizen.org)
"I started taking alli 3 days ago and today was the first time I noticed anything different happening with my body. First, I had to go to the
bathroom really bad after my breakfast+alli and there were floating drops of fat. Then, I cannot stop passing really nasty smelling gas, and
I'm continuously afraid to pass gas for fear I will pass something more...And it does make me watch what I eat a little more. But make sure you don't
just eat empty carbs now, you still need your complex carbs, your lean meat and your veggies and fruits"
Source(s): Mayo Clinic
Boost is a nutritional drink produced by Nestle; the media pitch I've seen on television makes the statement that as a person gets older, his protein needs increase.
This claim is true. Generally speaking, advancing years signifies a decrease in muscle mass known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is muscle wasting brought on by inactivity. Specifically, It happens when there is a lack of weight-bearing exercise such as weight lifting or training.
Boost complete nutritional drink comes in original, high protein, and glucose control for people with diabetes or concerns about blood sugar management.
Both the original and high protein formulations contain about 27 grams of sugar. If you read the ingredient listing, you'll find that sugar and corn syrup are the second and third ingredients respectively. This means that other than water, the next most plentiful ingredient is sugar.
Boost nutritional drinks also contain vegetable oils such as canola and corn. The American diet contains too much vegetable oil. These oils, whether canola, corn, soy, sunflower, are composed of omega-6 fatty acids.
Although your body needs omega-6 fatty acids as well as omega-3 fatty acids, the ratio is alarmingly unbalanced. The typical American diet consumes omega-6 to omega-3s in ratios ranging anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1.
Another problem with some vegetable oils are that they are predominately genetically modified . Corn and soy (as soy protein isolate in Boost) are subsidized by the American government and almost all are genetically modified.
"...According to the USDA Economic Research Service, as of 2011, 76 to 96 percent of corn crops had some sort of genetic modification, depending on which state they were grown..." (CBSNews.com).
The excessive amount of sugar in the original and high protein drinks should be a point of concern. As the typical American diet also contains too much sugar, in the form of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners, consuming more is not advisable.
Other than weight control, the overconsumption of sugar and artificial sweenteners can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Although many Americans, especially seniors, could benefit from additional protein in the diet, Boost products can lead to health concerns. Avoid these products.
What should you look for in nutritional protein drinks? First of all look for protein sourced from whey. Also make sure that it is concentrate and not "isolate". The whey should be sourced from pasture-raised cows.Healthy living > Flip side to health