Stanford University

History of Diet Pills in the United States

Dieting and diet pills are not just a new fad. As a matter of fact, doctors have been making diet pills for nearly 100 years in the United States. Here is a brief history of diet pills in the United States.

The first diet pills were created by Stanford University physicians. They contained a chemical called dinitrophenol, abbreviated DNP. This chemical involved some of the very basics of chemical and physical reactions. As you know, everything is made of moving particles. This does include food. The particles moving mean that everything is energy. DNP effects how food energy is broken down in your body. Normally, food energy is digested in your body and some of it turns into fat. However, when taking DNP food does not turn into fat but actually turns into heat and leaves your body. DNP was first sold as a dietary supplement in the 1930’s.

While amphetamines had been around for several decades prior, they were first introduced to the US diet pill market in the 1950’s. Amphetamines produce increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite. This seems like a perfect pill for dieters, except that it can be dangerous. The popular diet pill Phentermine is considered an amphetamine. Also in this class of drugs is speed and crystal meth.

Another group of diet pills that came on the market contain ephedra. Ephedra is a natural ingredient. These pills made their debut in the US most significantly in the 1990’s. Ephedra affects people similarly as amphetamines, but not quite as strong.

So as you can see, diet pills have long been a part of American culture. It is important for overweight people to lose weight to become healthy. However, does it not seem counter-productive to that goal to take a diet pill that could be harmful to your health?

Diet pills such as Phentermine can work very well from some people and really help jump start their diets. There are a few things that should be mentioned though. It is a myth to think that just because the doctor prescribed it or the FDA approved it then it is good for. It is so important to know your body and take control of your health. On the other hand, while many of these forms of diet pills have been taken off the market because of serious side effects, that does not mean they will affect everyone that way.

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