People who take slimming tea in order to check or reduce their weight often loose sight of the risks associated with it
| By Chinwe Okafor | Oct. 28, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
OFTENTIMES, people with weight problem seek all sorts of ways to slim down. They often resort to exercises, observe weight loss diets, skip meals and other options they deem fit. One of such options is the slimming tea or weight loss tea as some will call it. There are many varieties of slimming tea. Although they come in different names but they all promote a common message which tells the buyer that it’s for weight loss.
Slimming tea has long been considered very useful for dieters. Many companies have manufactured and distributed the product under different names such ‘Chinese diet tea’ meant for those who wish to lose weight. Though there are few health benefits of slimming tea, the same benefits can also be found in pure teas such as green tea, white tea, black tea and others. It has been scientifically proven that tea contains antioxidants that aid good health. Teas also contain polyphenols that aid the fat burning process, stimulating weight loss but this is a property of both slimming and pure tea.
Findings have revealed that the main reason people buy this tea is because they believe the caffeine in the tea is potent enough to increase body function to help burn more calories. However, many experts have noted that what one is actually drinking from tea is a plant-based laxative that can cause certain disorders like diarrheoa, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fainting, chronic constipation and perhaps even death when consumed in excessive quantity.
Uche Ogbanufe, a nutritionist with the Kogi State general hospital, said that a large percentage of Nigerians who use Chinese slimming tea use it wrongly. “These teas are special herbal teas that shouldn’t be taken alone and this is where Nigerians miss it. They are probably to be taken in conjunction with something else. The reason why many Nigerians develop health complications is because they do not use the tea in the right way. Nigerians want the fast method, especially when it comes to weight loss. These slimming teas are like hard drugs and are designed to work very fast. People take slimming tea and yet their diet is terrible. You can’t lose weight that way, rather, you’re only damaging your system. Whenever I counsel people who are obese, I advise them to shun slimming teas and go through the right method. Once one is able to cut out fried food, red meat, full cream milk, white bread, starchy rice, junk food, one will definitely lose weight. Rather than jeopardising one’s health, it is better to follow the long but safer method of losing weight,” she said.
Ebere Ezeh, a general medicine practitioner, said that consumers of slimming teas should protect their lives and lose weight the proper way. “I’m not going to condemn these teas especially the Chinese slimming teas, but I know that there are other better ways to lose weight. These teas may look like a fast way, but it can trigger off serious side effects, leading to death in some cases. We don’t know the contents of the tea and are not sure of the expiry date. Many of these slimming teas are gimmicks. There is no scientifically controlled evidence to prove they work,” she said. Ezeh advised that if one suffers from obesity, the person should watch his or her diet and do exercises because there are safer methods to lose weight than using these teas.
Research findings have revealed that slimming tea has risks which are not associated with pure teas. Slimming teas have same benefits as pure teas, but pure teas do not possess the risks associated with slimming teas which contain laxatives. One of the most common laxatives included in slimming tea is senna. Though the senna content in slimming tea may be all natural, it is still a laxative. Laxatives should never be used as a diet supplement but most users are ignorant of this fact. The risks of using laxative teas or slimming teas are so great that most packages correctly have warnings against their use by pregnant women. The use of laxatives as a diet supplement may cause diarrhoea initially. However, after prolonged use, the human body can become dependent on the laxative. Without the laxative dosage the person will begin to suffer chronic constipation.
Extended use of slimming laxative teas can cause death if there is no intervention. Unfortunately, many people do not realise that the consequences of prolonged use of these diet products can be deadly, especially for those who suffer from eating disorders. However, laxative-induced diarrheoa does not significantly reduce absorption of calories for the reason that laxatives don’t work in the small intestine, where the calories are absorbed. Based on studies, when these laxatives are used continually, laxative dependency will tend to develop with bouts of chronic diarrheoa, abdominal pain, as well as constipation. In the most severe cases, these laxatives can cause fainting, dehydration and serious electrolyte disorders. The after-effects of excessive use of slimming tea are most likely to develop in people who are nutritionally compromised due to rigorous weight-loss dieting.