Are they safe? Do they work?
A “new” diet pill is doing the rounds. It is being advertised all over, however, our friends in Brazil are not aware of it. Strange. The FDA decided to take a look at a new diet fad and have issued a warning about these new weight loss pills. The bottom line is, do not take them.
What is in the Brazilian Diet Pill?
One of the most popular brands is the Emagrece Sim (roughly translates to “Yes Slim”) which is made by Phytotherm Sim. The pills are marketed as being “unique blend of rare and exotic Brazilian herbs grown in the Amazon under very special conditions in order to maximize their beneficial power.” Typically the sales pages for this product never provide any information on what it is actually made of.
The company behind much of the marketing is Brazilian Basics, LLC. On their website the ingredients mentioned for Emagrece are Damiana (a Mexican plant), Guarana powder (a compound almost identical to caffeine) and Yerba Mate (shown to reduce obesity in mice with a high fat diet, no evidence of reducing obesity in humans with a high sugar diet though).
There is nothing regarding the ingredients of Emagrece Sim on the website. The FDA have had a look (see below).
Brazilian Basics also state that:
“our products are not drugs. They are 100% all natural and therefore a prescription is not necessary. All of the ingredients used in Brazilian Basics products are listed on the FDA’s G.R.A.S. list (Generally Regarded As Safe). However, the ingredients of the pills actually require a prescription in many countries.“
So that is clear – it is not a drug, but in some countries you will need a prescription to take it…..
According the FDA the main ingredients of Emagrece Sim, and also Herbathin which is often sold alongside it as part of the system, are:
- Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (HCl) – this is the active ingredient also present in anti-anxiety medication Librium®.
- Fluoxetine HCl – this is an active ingredient of Prozac® which is prescribed to patients with depression.
- Fenproporex – this ingredient has never been approved for medical use in America. The most shocking thing about this ingredient is that once consumed it is transformed in an amphetamine which makes the dieter feel happy. (There are reports of people losing their jobs after being tested positive for illegal drugs after taking these pills).
Each of these ingredients can lead to addiction and should never be taken without careful guidance from a medical professional, ideally a qualified psychiatrist.
Common Side Effects of the Brazilian Diet Pill
According to the FDA this concoction of chemicals can have several side effects in some people, which include:
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
Withdrawal symptoms are common when dieters try to stop taking the pills. There is also risk that other medications may be affected by the pills which could pose serious health threats if your medication is vital for your well being.
What About the Testimonials and Research?
With any product there are always people claiming that it works. For example, one woman says:
“I began by making a few small lifestyle changes. These changes focused on my diet and included portion control, eliminating fast food, counting calories, eating more fruits and vegetables, and getting exercise by simply walking my dog.“
Quick analysis reveals that she actually made all the changes that will prompt weight loss regardless of whether she is taking a diet pill or not. So is the pill really helping her?
The research quoted in the sales pitch is equally vague. For example, one sales pitch claims that in a study a weight loss group taking the Brazilian Diet Pills lost over 11.25 pounds compared to a placebo group who only lost 0.5 pounds. Of course, we know nothing about the activities of the “weight loss group” and the “placebo group”. We have to assume that the “weight loss group” were making an effort to lose weight and had already adjusted their diet and started exercising more. The length of the study is not mentioned, so they may have lost an average of 11.25 pounds over a period of 3 months, which would actually be very poor results. The emphasis on this study is that the pill leads to 20 times more weight loss than doing nothing. The research is not properly referenced.
Advice from the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration)
“FDA urges consumers, health care providers, and caregivers to cease using and dispose of these products and report any adverse events related to these products to MedWatch, the FDA’s voluntary reporting program at 1-800-FDA-1088; by FAX at 1-800-FDA-0178; by mail to MedWatch, Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD, 20857-9787; or online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.”
So that is pretty clear – do not take these pills. According to the FDA analysis of the pills reveals that they pose serious health risk and should not be taken. Like so many “diet pills” that are marketed online they are not safe to take, they are not guaranteed to work, and they are not regulated by any professional medical bodies. You take them at your own risk, and do not be surprised if they do not work for you at all. In the cases where they may have worked the subject has changed their diet and started exercising more.
So if you were thinking of buying these pills and trying the “Brazilian Diet System” please bear in mind that this is not really a Brazilian system at all. Brazilian Basics’ website domain was originally registered in Florida, USA. The website that actually sells Emagrace Sim is Brazilian-diet.net, and the registered owner has made their details anonymous. How you interpret that is up to you.
Before buying any type of pill online be sure to remember the Health Online Code of Conduct. The marketing of this product managed to break most of those rules.
Our advice – if you want a “Brazilian” weight loss system, just eat lots of fresh fruits, drink water, dance Samba!