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Stress Pills May Not Be Good Weight Loss Solution

Stress Pills May Not Be Good Weight Loss Solution

Posted - Nov. 8, 2004 at 3:17 p.m.



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Shelley Osterloh ReportingCan taking a diet pill reduce your stress and help you lose weight fast? Shelley Osterloh has been checking into the latest diet trend to see if it has any merit?

They are called Cortisol blockers. There are many new products on the market that claim you can lose weight by lowering your level of this common hormone that we all produce. When you are under stress, you body produces cortisol. Too much chronic stress can produce higher levels of cortisol, which in turn, can increase appetite -- called stress eating.

There are dozens of products for sale on the internet and from TV infomercials. Most manufacturers of these dietary supplements claim they produce drastic weight loss through blocking cortisol -- the so called stress hormone.

But University of Utah Health Sciences Nutritionist Joe Carlson says there is no scientific evidence that adjusting cortisol levels will help you lose weight.

Joe Carlson, Ph.D., R.D.: "I have yet to see a double blinded, randomized trial that are associated with some of the claims."

Dr. Carlson says the right amount of cortisol in your body is beneficial and some diseases, like Addison's disease, are connected to having too little of the hormone.

Joe Carlson, Ph.D., R.D.: "Cortisol is very important to warding off infection, it’s an anti-inflammatory so there’s two extremes. But cortisol is definitely essential for life."

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a class action lawsuit against the makers of one stress hormone blocker called Cortislim. The FTC charges the company made invalid and unsubstantiated weight loss claims in its advertising.

One other note -- Dr. Carlson says it’s best to handle stress through things like exercise or yoga, and then your body naturally normalizes your levels of cortisol.

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