Alli is an over the counter weight loss pill, which consists of Orlistat, the active ingredient in the prescription drug Xenical. Alli is manufactured in 60mg pills, whereas the prescription drug Xenical contains 120 mg of Orlistat per pill.
Alli’s main function is to prevent the absorption of fats in the intestines. This is the way it works. The pancreas produces an enzyme called lipase whose main function is to break down fats in the intestine so the body can use it for energy or as stored fat for later use.
The drug works as a lipase inhibitor which allows the body to pass fats through the intestine without absorbing them. The body then rids itself of fats through stools. Alli is designed to be taken in conjunction with a low fat, low carbohydrate diet and exercise in order for this weight loss product to give the user maximum results. Alli should be taken three times daily prior to meals in order to work effectively.
It is highly recommended that the person wishing to lose weight to limit fat intake to less than 15 grams of fat per day. If the diet contains more than 15 grams of fat per day, some unpleasant side effects can occur which include increased amount of stools, urgent bowel movements, and increased flatulence which may include oily staining upon passing gas.
Alli is recommended as a weight loss supplement for persons over the age of 18 who are overweight. It is contraindicated in people who have decreased gall bladder function or have had their gall bladder removed. People who are unable to absorb food well, women who are pregnant or nursing, anyone who has had an organ transplant, or takes cyclosporine should not take Alli.
There are added concerns for anyone who is diabetic, has thyroid problems, or is taking a blood thinner as well. If people who have these conditions and are considering taking the weight loss drug, they should definitely consult with a physician prior to taking this or any other weight loss supplement.
Some further concerns that should be addressed while taking Alli include the fact that it can cause decreased absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Therefore, anyone who takes this drug should take a multivitamin supplement or supplements of the individual vitamins above.
They should be taken at a different time than when Alli is taken to facilitate proper absorption of the vitamins.
As stated above, some side effects to be aware of while taking Alli are frequent or urgent bowel movements, oily staining of stools, increased flatulence, and sometimes even diarrhea.
Studies have shown that people taking Xenical have shown weight loss of approximately 6 pounds more than those who achieved weight loss with diet and exercise alone after a period of time. Therefore, it can be assumed that Alli can add the equivalent of around 3 pounds more for the user than they would achieve otherwise.
Some of the positive features are that Alli can be taken in conjunction with a low fat, low carbohydrate diet for long periods of time, which make it more desirable to people who need to lose large amounts of weight. If used properly it can be an added boon to diet and exercise in a long term weight loss program. The side effects for the most part have been shown to be minimal if the recommended program is adhered to.
As with any other weight loss program, it is always wise to consult with a physician before starting it. A physician can discuss the pros and cons of dieting and supplements, providing the most effective course of treatment for the individual involved.