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The Side Effects of Slim-Xtreme Herbal Supplement

by
author image Angela Brady
Angela Brady has been writing since 1997. Currently transitioning to a research career in oncolytic virology, she has won awards for her work related to genomics, proteomics, and biotechnology. She is also an authority on sustainable design, having studied, practiced and written extensively on the subject.
The Side Effects of Slim-Xtreme Herbal Supplement
Hand holding a yellow and red capsule Photo Credit enriscapes/iStock/Getty Images

Slim-Xtreme is an herbal weight loss supplement -- like any supplement, it is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That means that it has not been proven effective, and there's no guarantee that the ingredients listed on the label are actually in the pills. In fact, Slim-Xtreme was recalled by the FDA in May 2011 for containing undeclared sibutramine, an appetite suppressant that was banned in the United States because it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. The supplement's remaining ingredients are legal, but still pose a risk.

Stimulant

When ephedra was banned by the FDA in 2004, supplement makers scrambled to find a replacement of equal effectiveness for weight loss and found bitter orange. Bitter orange is related to ephedra, but unfortunately, it carries many of the same risks. According to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, bitter orange increases your heart rate and blood pressure, putting you at risk for fainting and migraines and increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. These side effects are amplified when bitter orange is used at the same time as caffeine or other stimulants.

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Diuretics

According to the Slim-Xtreme website, the ingredient Semen coicis is included in the formula for its diuretic effect. Diuretics flush excess fluid from your body by making you urinate more. You may lose a couple of pounds of water weight, but it will return when you drink more water. Diuretics can be dangerous when taken every day because they increase your risk of dehydration and can cause thirst, cramps, dizziness and headaches. More serious and long-term side effects include increased blood sugar and cholesterol, gout, impotence, menstrual problems and male breast enlargement.

Laxatives

Slim-Xtreme contains a whopping seven separate laxative ingredients. Increasing your bowel movements does not make you lose weight, other than the weight of the stool itself. By the time food is able to be excreted as stool, your body has already digested the nutrients -- and calories -- it contains. More importantly, daily laxative use can cause diarrhea, which furthers your risk of dehydration. When your bowels are artificially stimulated daily, they eventually forget how to move the stool through naturally, and you eventually cannot have a bowel movement without a laxative. Laxative dependence is a major problem that can cause permanent intestinal damage. Laxative overuse can also cause nausea, vomiting and severe cramps.

Caution

Slim-Xtreme is unlikely to cause fat loss. The ingredients are all herbal, but they can still pose a safety threat. Do not use these pills if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or other supplements or have a medical condition. In all cases, consult your doctor before use. Slim-Xtreme is formulated to increase your energy and increase your urination and bowel movements -- all of which can be accomplished more safely and effectively with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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References

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