The safety of fat binders depends a lot of which one you choose to take. There are a variety of different brands of fat binding supplements on the market, and they are not all made equally. The truth is, they aren’t necessarily dangerous, but they can have some negative side effects. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects before using a supplement.
Many companies tend to advertise their fat binders as being safe and gentle, so it seems that you would be able to take them without having to worry too much. The problem is that there is more to it than that. It is really important to make sure that you understand how fat binders work, the active ingredients, and the risks that come along with them.
How Fat Binders Work
You should understand how fat binders work to see how safe they can be. Fat binders work by using ingredients that are known to bind to fats in the digestive system naturally. They bind to them and collect them without allowing them to be absorbed by your body. They pass through your digestive tract, undigested. They are then passed through your stool. This can be unpleasant and messy, but we will touch more on this when we go over the risks of fat binders.
Ingredients in Fat Binders
We already mentioned that there are a lot of fat binders out there to choose from. The key is to make sure that you check out all of the ingredients. Just about every fat binder is going to have some indigestible fiber source that does the actual binding. Sometimes, these ingredients can have risks associated with allergic reaction. Keep a close eye on the ingredients in the supplements that you choose.
Probably the most common ingredient you will find in a fat binder is chitosan. This is largely perceived to be the most effective binding compound and certainly is the only one with real scientific evidence to back it up.
Not only do you have to consider the actual ingredients that are used, but also the quality of the ingredients. The quality of the same ingredient can also vary from one brand name to the next. Do your research to know more about the ingredients that are used, and where they came from. Reputable supplement manufacturers will not have an issue disclosing information regarding the quality of their products.
Risks Associated with Fat Binders
Let’s get down to the actual risks that fat binders have associated with them. The good news is that there are not really any life-threatening risks involved. Most of the risks just have to do with unpleasant side effects. For instance, you may experience one or more of these effects:
- upset stomach
- greasy stools
You should also be aware that because it affects your body’s absorption, it can also interact with certain other medications that you take. For instance, some fat binders can increase blood thinner effects, which can be very dangerous. It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting a new supplement to rule out possible interactions.
It can also decrease your ability to absorb vital vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. Some of these supplements, however, have added vitamins and minerals to help counteract this issue. Key vitamins that your body needs in adequate amounts include Vitamins A, D and E. Increasing your intake of these vitamins while taking fat binders is a good idea to avoid vitamin deficiency. There are even some fat binders out there that have added vitamins.
If you are currently on any prescription medications, you won’t want to take them at the same time you take the fat binders. If the medication is fat soluble, such as birth control pills, then it could actually be absorbed into the fat binder rather than absorbed by your body. This would make these medications useless, as your body wouldn’t even recognize that you had taken it. Waiting a couple of hours in between should ensure that there are no issues.
Should You Take Fat Binders?
Most trial studies that have been conducted regarding fat binders will show that they can be pretty effective at limiting the amount of fat absorbed by your body. They can be used to help lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss. Most of the studies that have been conducted have shown that there is no drastic difference made when it comes to weight loss and fat binders.
Ultimately, supplements are designed to do just what their name says – supplement. Talk to your doctor and see if a fat binder may be a good supplement to add into your daily routine of diet and exercise. Just keep in mind that although they are safe to take for most people, no fat binder is going to be a miracle supplement that offers overnight results.