Weight Loss Drug Alli May Not be Your Friend

Alli 120 capsule refill

Alli 120 capsule refill (Photo credit: Newbirth35)

Alli is
currently one of the most popular over-the-counter weight loss drugs available.
According to a study discussed in Forbes, however, Alli may cause
permanent liver and kidney damage to those who use it.

In 1999,
the FDA approved Orlistat, which goes by the over-the-counter name of Alli.
However, a study conducted by the University of Rhode Island now shows that
Orlistat may be severely toxic to major internal organs. Not only did the study
find that Orlistat may cause permanent liver and kidney damage, but the study
also found that it may reduce the effectiveness of a multitude of other
medications. Moreover, it has been reported that Orlistat actually increases
the multiplication rate of cancer cells.

The
enzyme that digests fat in a person’s intestines is called lipase. Orlistat
assists people in losing weight by blocking lipase so that fat passes through a
person’s body rather than being absorbed into it. Orlistat is therefore
problematic because lipase is not the only metabolic enzyme that it is able to
interfere with.

Although
the FDA announced a new warning for Orlistat that discussed the potential for
liver toxicity in May of 2010, the warning merely stated that reports of such
side effects were “rare.” The new study shows that the possibility
for organ damage is much stronger.