What You Need to Know About Alli

*New information about alli weight loss pills and the diet pill recall is available here

What is Alli?

Alli (pronounced ally) is the first over-the-counter, FDA-approved weight loss pill.

The 60-mg capsules are available as a 60-count starter pack, a 90-count starter pack, and a 120-count refill.

Alli is comprised of a half-dose of the prescription-only weight loss medication known as Xenical. The active ingredient in both pills is Orlistat.

At this time, Alli is considered safe for long-term use.

How do I Get Alli?

Alli is available at mass-market retailers, drugstores, and some online retailers.

The 90-count starter pack costs around $60.The starter pack includes reference guides about the product, following a healthy diet, and exercise. Information about gaining access to online resources is also provided.

You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase the product.

What does Alli Do?

Alli is not an appetite suppressant.

The purpose of Alli is to prevent your body from absorbing some of the fat you eat.

According to the official product Web site, myalli.com, the active ingredient (Orlistat) attaches to natural enzymes found in your body's digestive system. This prevents about one-fourth of the fat you consume from being broken down, leaving it undigested.

What Happens to the Undigested Fat?

This undigested fat is not absorbed by your body (and therefore does not turn into calories).

The undigested fat is eliminated when you have a bowel movement.

An article at myalli.com describes this experience as follows: "...you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza."

Does it Work?

In order for Alli to work, you will need to follow a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet (no more than 30 percent of calories from fat).

If you eat more fat than is recommended, you will be likely to experience unfavorable side effects, such as diarrhea and gas.

Who Shouldn't Take It?

The FDA says people who have diabetes or thyroid disease or take blood thinners should not use Alli without their physician's approval.

Ideally, I would suggest everyone to get their doctor's "okay" before taking this or any other weight loss supplement.

To learn more, please visit All About Alli.

Learn More:

Reference: GlaxoSmithKline. myalli.com -- how does it work?. http://www.myalli.com/howdoesitwork.aspx. 2007. 13 June 2007.

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