New Diet Pill May Keep You on Your Toes - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/13/07

New Diet Pill May Keep You on Your Toes

Diet and exercise is the way personal trainer Ashley Brown keeps herself and her clients healthy at the 24 Hour Fitness Gym in Savannah. "I do my cardio. I eat clean, I'm on a very healthy diet," Ashley said.

But working out isn't enough for some. They need a little push to shed some pounds. And if you're looking to take the extra weight off , Alli may help you out.

The pill is designed to block up to 25 percent of fat absorption, causing you to lose weight at a faster rate. "It decreases your ability to absorb part of the fat you eat," explained Dr. Paul Bradley. "Fat is rich in calories, so if you can't absorb all the fat in your diet, you'll be getting less calories."

Alli is not new. The prescription form, Xenical, has been around for years. But would you want to take it? Yes, the weight loss may be great, but the side effects are not so desirable. The unabsorbed fat turns to oil, giving people a not so wanted effect. "They get, in nice terms, leakage of that oil. But what that really means is, they'll have an accident."

Anal leakage, loose and frequent stools that may be hard to control, and gas with an oily discharge are just some of the effects you may feel.

Glaxo Smith Kline, the company that manufactures Alli, and the Federal Food and Drug Administration insist it's safe, and will help people lose weight. That's if you follow their low fat diet and exercise plan, and can get past the "drainage" issues. "You have to follow the directions," said Dr. Bradley. "If you don't eat the low fat diet, then you'll have that fat, undigested, hitting the lower intestine. And, in all likelihood, it will come out, and probably not at the most opportune time."

Glaxo Smith Kline is recommending people who try Alli for the first time to stay close to home. Ashley says she'll pass, and stick to her regular routine of working out and eating right. "Definitely I'm going to continue with my regimen. It seems to be working for me," said Ashley.

If you're looking for the pill now, you're out of luck. Glaxo Smith Kline isn't shipping it to the pharmacies until the release date on Friday.

Another possible drawback to the pill is the cost. Alli is being listed at $70 per bottle, which is roughly a one month's supply.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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