I’ve always had a pessimistic view of weight-loss diet pills-it seems like they’ve been around since forever. When I was a kid, doctors were giving amphetamines to women for weight-loss. Didn’t work, except to get a lot of women hooked on ‘uppers’. In the years since, I’ve seen several purported diet pills on the market-everything from fat-blockers to metabolism boosters. An article by Harry Preuss, MD, appeared in Bottom Line Personal, 1/1/15, naturally caught my eye. Dr Preuss states that he has spent much of his career studying nutritional supplements to help with weight loss. These are the three that he has found to be quite effective.

1) Garnica Cambogia (GC) (to lose 10 more pounds). I first heard of GC on the Dr Oz show in 2012. GC is actually a variety of the tamarind fruit-a popular sour spice from India. Research has found that this fruit is rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a compound that lowers levels of ATP-citrate lyase, an enzyme that helps the body turn carbs into fat. So GC halls to reduce your body’s production of fat. According to Dr Preuss, look for an ‘active’ form of HCA, formulated with a mineral salt such as potassium or magnesium, and make sure that the GC is at least 50% HCA. He recommends products from Genesis Today, NutriGold, NutraCentials, and Pure Health. Take at least 1500 mg, three times a day, 30 to 60 minutes before meals, on an empty stomach. Those who are diabetic, on statins, or suffer from dementia,┬áneed to confer with their doctors before taking GC.

2) A carbohydrate blocker, made from an extract of white kidney beans. These work by blocking alpha amylase, a digestive enzyme secreted by the pancreas that breaks down carbs in the small intestine. Dr Preuss cites research showing that carb blockers can cut carb absorption by 60%-70%. Typical dose is 1,000 mg per meal; take 15 minutes before a high-carb meal.

3) Chromium: when levels of this mineral are low, insulin struggles moving sugar out of the blood. Dr Preuss suggests a dosage of 200 mcg, three times a day, when dieting. Take on an empty stomach.

I’ve never been a big fan of diet pills, etc., but I don’t know everything. These are safe; if you want to try them, I see no harm. Please give me some feedback. Thanks

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.