Sixty percent of adults in the United States are overweight, and more than 300,000 deaths a year stem from complications brought on by being overweight, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. People look to the likes of medicines and treatments as quick fixes for their weight problems.
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Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, specializes in keeping the nerve cells healthy, regulating red blood cell formation and the production of DNA. Like the other seven B vitamins, it also helps to convert carbohydrates into energy. B-12 deficiency is rare, but is most often found in vegans and those with eating disorders, according to the UMMC. Some weight loss clinics promote B-12 injections as an effective weight-loss technique.
Vitamin B-12 is thought to speed up metabolic rates and give a person more energy, which then results in the burning of more calories. However, registered dietitian Katherine Zerastsky of MayoClinic.com states that supplementing with B-12 injections, or any other form of B-12, does not show any evidence of causing weight loss. Supplementation of B-12 in healthy individuals is not thought to be harmful but can disrupt other medications, notes MayoClinic.com.
Weight-loss pills are available in prescription and over-the-counter strength. Xenical is the prescription strength version of the drug Alli. Both pills work by disabling an enzyme in your stomach, called lipase, which is responsible for breaking down and storing fats. By disabling this, fat continues into the bowel and out of the body, notes MayoClinic.com. Although the manufacturer notes that the best results are often achieved in the first six months of use, most users continue indefinitely.
MayoClinic.com notes that Alli can help a person lose 3 to 5 lb. a year if taken as part of a healthful lifestyle, whereas, Xenical can result in 5 to 7 lb. of weight loss. Both drugs come with the side effect of not being able to control bowel movements. The manufacturers recommend a user takes no more than 15 mg per meal to avoid the likes of diarrhea and oily discharge from gas, notes MayoClinic.com.
Speak with your family doctor concerning your options for help with weight loss. MayoClinic.com states that a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and regular physical exercise is the most important determinant of results when taking weight loss pills and advocates those same lifestyle habits rather than vitamin B-12 injections. Strong prescription medicines such as Xenical, B-12 injections and weight loss surgeries are normally reserved for those suffering health complications because of their weight.