Back in 1999, a drug called orlistat was approved by the FDA to facilitate weight loss. Orlistat works by inhibiting the lipase enzyme in the digestive tract. When taken before a meal, orlistat will prevent about 30% of ingested fat from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Since fat grams contain twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrate, orlistat targets a significant offender involved in the accumulation of excess body weight.
Some studies show impressive weight-loss results when 120 mg of orlistat is taken before each meal (three times a day). One study showed that overweight women who followed a lifestyle modification program and took orlistat lost 20.5 pounds after one year compared with virtually no weight loss in the control group.1 In a study of obese men taking orlistat, 17.4 pounds of weight was lost after three months.2 Not all studies yield these favorable results.
Life Extension® believes the reason that orlistat fails many consumers is that it inhibits only one of many factors involved in today’s obesity epidemic. Life Extension also believes that while orlistat blocks the absorption of 30% of dietary fat, the 70% of ingested fat that is absorbed can preclude significant weight loss. Compared with a reduced calorie diet alone, those who take orlistat can expect to lose 50% more weight.3 That means if you are able to lose 20 pounds through diet alone, taking orlistat would improve the amount of weight lost to 30 pounds.
Why you should try Orlistat for 60-90 days
There are physiological and psychological benefits to using orlistat at least on a temporary basis. By combining orlistat with a comprehensive weight management program, more fat pounds will be shed from the body, thus providing the physiological effect. A psychological benefit is seeing undigested fat being passed naturally from the body. Understanding that this fecal fat was destined for your bloodstream, where it would contribute to unwanted body fat (and health problems), may motivate you to reduce your dietary fat intake in the long run. Those who continue to eat excess fat and take orlistat may experience bowel changes such as oily spotting and loose stools. This may provide another psychological barrier against ingesting excess fat calories.
Those embarking on a weight-loss program expect to see relatively rapid results. While orlistat has yielded only modest effects by itself, its unique mechanism of blocking 30% of dietary fat from being absorbed provides an important weapon in a comprehensive fat-loss armamentarium.
This supplement should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary.