Health Experts Caution Against Unverified Weight Loss Claims on social media

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USA Today reported that while social media connects people and spreads information, it also has the downside of promoting unfounded products and ideas. The latest viral trend is the “ice hack” diet, which has gained attention through claims made by prominent influencers.

They suggest that a mysterious supplement can lead to weight loss without exercise or dietary changes. However, medical professionals and dietitians remain skeptical, as there is no scientific evidence supporting the diet’s efficacy. Moreover, the supplement at the core of the diet lacks regulation and proof of effectiveness, warranting caution for potential buyers. 

The ice hack diet revolves around the belief that individuals with a low inner body temperature can metabolize fat more efficiently. Followers of this diet consume a glass of ice water before bedtime to purportedly lower their body temperature, along with taking a weight-loss supplement called Alpilean. The supplement contains six substances, two of which have some known health benefits, but are not specifically related to weight loss. However, limited data or research is available regarding the safety and effectiveness of the remaining four substances. 

A 30-day supply of the Alpilean supplement costs $59.00, with additional charges for shipping and handling. The company provides discounts for purchasing multiple bottles. Despite the claims made by the company, experts argue that there is insufficient supportive research. For instance, there is little reliable data on substances like golden algae and drumstick tree leaf. The research on the dika nut, although minimal, suggests it may have a laxative and blood glucose-lowering effect.

However, caution is advised for individuals taking diabetes medications or planning surgery due to the potential for low blood glucose levels. The substance referred to as bigarade orange appears to be another name for bitter orange, which has been warned against due to its use as a replacement for the banned ephedra in supplements. Only ginger and turmeric are known to be safe as supplements, but the data on turmeric’s weight loss benefits do not appear to be clinically significant. Furthermore, there is no evidence of ginger’s effectiveness in cooling the body temperature, as suggested by the company. 

Although some social media influencers claim weight loss success through the ice hack diet, experts emphasize that there is no scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. The diet raises concerns due to the unregulated nature of the supplement, including issues of quality, purity, accurate dosing, and potential contaminants. Jen Messer, a nutrition consultant, and registered dietitian acknowledges the reasoning behind drinking cold water or chewing ice to potentially boost metabolism.

However, she states that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the ice hack diet is effective for weight loss. Studies exploring the effects of cold water or ice on metabolism have yielded inconclusive results. While some studies suggest no significant impact on metabolism, others indicate that any effect is minimal and negligible. 

Messer cautions against chewing ice, as it can cause dental problems. Instead of following the ice hack diet, she advises maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and focusing on overall lifestyle habits. These approaches have proven to be more effective in managing and optimizing metabolism for sustainable weight loss. 

The “ice hack” diet, promoted through social media, lacks scientific evidence and regulatory oversight. Medical professionals and dietitians discourage reliance on unproven claims and caution against potential health risks. Sustainable weight loss and optimized metabolism are best achieved through a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits. It is crucial for individuals to critically evaluate information shared on social media and seek advice from reliable sources when considering dietary changes or supplements. 




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