I'm thinking about trying a diet pill called Lipovarin. Can you tell me if it works?

Answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

There's no good evidence that Lipovarin — a popular, nonprescription diet pill — promotes weight loss. In fact, this product might pose serious health risks.

Lipovarin contains the ingredient synephrine, a constituent of bitter orange. Synephrine is a stimulant similar to ephedrine, which is found in the herb ephedra. Safety concerns led to the removal of ephedra products from the U.S. market.

However, many manufacturers simply substituted synephrine in products that used to contain ephedra. These products, including Lipovarin, might have the same serious health risks as ephedra products — including an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. And because weight-loss supplements aren't regulated, it's impossible to know how much synephrine products contain.

Remember, there are no shortcuts to permanent weight loss. The foundation of every successful weight-loss program is a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

Oct. 16, 2015