Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Numerous dietary supplements that promise to help you shed weight quickly are available. But in almost all cases, the effectiveness and safety of these products are questionable. Talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.

Herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, all considered dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration, don't have the same rigorous testing and labeling process as over-the-counter and prescription medications. Yet some of these substances, including products labeled as "natural," have drug-like effects that can be dangerous. Even some vitamins and minerals can cause problems when taken in excessive amounts. Ingredients may not be standard, and they can cause unpredictable and harmful side effects. Dietary supplements can also cause dangerous interactions with prescription medications you take.

It's thought that acupuncture and hypnosis may complement other obesity treatments. Talk to your doctor if you're interested in adding acupuncture or hypnosis to your treatment.

Jun. 07, 2013