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Is There A Magic Pill For Weight Loss?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Garcinia Cambogia is one of two new pills out there promising dramatic results when it comes to weight loss.

So, do they really work and what do doctors think about them?

We walk it off, jog it off, lift it off, and try to make it magically disappear.

"I have tried pills, I have tried everything and the only thing that works is exercise and good diet," Maria Maknoon said.

But, the weight loss industry keeps trying and it is having lucrative results ringing in at $61 billion a year.

"It's very rewarding to see the difference and in moms, that's a big deal when you can lose some of that belly fat," Dana Vento said.

Vento is a mother of three and writes a blog called Pittsburgh Frugal Mom. Hearing the growing hype over a pill called Garcinia Cambogia, she decided to give it a try.

"Initially, I didn't see any result, but what I did feel was a little bit more full so I wasn't hungry like I had been in the past. I might want to have a nibble, but there is no urge to snack. That just sort of goes away," Vento said.

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit native to Indonesia, southeast Asia and Africa and contains something called hydroxycitric acid or HCA. Researchers claim the HCA blocks your body from turning what you eat into fat.

"My results were losing about eight inches through my waistline and belly and while there were no pounds, inches actually contribute better in clothing," Vento said.

She did increase her water intake slightly and upped her exercise by 10 minutes, but Vento credits the pill for her success.

After blogging about her results, she said her friends tried it with similar success except for one, who had a hard time remembering to take the pill 30 minutes before eating.

Which brings us to the other supplement flying off the shelf - green coffee bean extract.

"It contains a chemical called chlorogenic acid. In some very small studies, it showed some weight loss, but over a very short period of time," Dr. Marc Itskowitz said.

That was consistent with Vento's results when she gave it a try.

"There's no caffeine in it and it's supposed to make you not as hungry and it was doing that part of it, but it just wasn't losing inches or weight with it," Vento said.

It's possible that in some patients the supplements might work, but Dr. Itskowitz has a few words of caution.

"I would not use these over-the-counter measures. They have not been shown to be safe or effective," Dr. Itskowitz said.

"There is no magic pill. It's cardio, good diet, good nutrition, enjoying walks with your friends. You have to work at it," Alisha England said.

Results vary and these may or may not work for you partly depending on your exercise and diet. Because the FDA considers these to be food and not a drug, they do not have to go through the rigorous testing to determine their effectiveness and impact like drugs do.

One thing that is clear throughout the information about these supplements is if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart issues talk to your doctor before you give them a try.


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