DEAR DR. BLONZ: I would like to know if taking Nuvoryn, which I've heard a lot about, really does make you lose weight. I am healthy and I do not suffer from health issues. I have read about so many tablets on the market, and would like to know which is the healthiest and safest one to use -- and most importantly, if they work. -- F., via email
DEAR F.: According to available information, this product contains a proprietary blend of green tea, guarana (caffeine), acai, resveratrol, hoodia, Siberian ginseng, Damiana, pomegranate and yerba mate. I was unable to find any evidence in the scientific literature that taking this product's ingredients as directed had ever been shown to cause significant weight loss in people.
On what basis is it being promoted? It is very important that you are not swayed by testimonials featured on a site that sells the product. Proof from an independent source is needed. Sorry for the negative response, but it is important that weight-loss efforts not get vested in a product where there is no objective evidence that it is likely to help. The resulting disappointment can turn us off from sincere efforts to effect change, and that is bad news.
My advice is to start by sitting back and acknowledging that it took a period of time for that weight to come on board, and it's likely that it will take time for it to "get lost." Getting to a point where you slowly drop a pound or two a month would be fantastic. Adding calorie-burning activities to diet changes is what makes this happen. Be patient. Nothing from a dietary supplement bottle should be thought of as more important than the changes you make in what you eat and in your level of physical activity. As always, if you have been sedentary for a long time, are on medications, or you have a chronic health condition, run your plans by your health professional before you start.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: I read a recent column about hydrogen peroxide with interest. Most teeth whiteners have hydrogen peroxide as a primary ingredient. Although these are not swallowed, do they pose a risk to gum tissue? -- M.D., via email
DEAR M.D.: The levels of hydrogen peroxide in these products, and their instructions for use, should be designed to prevent damage to gum tissue. There are approval processes for over-the-counter products, and companies are required to notify the FDA about their products and intended uses prior to sale. But you cannot assume that every product or device is safe and effective.
Please exercise due diligence prior to use by, for instance, doing research online at independent professional sites (not the sites selling the products). You can also check with the American Dental Association site at mouthhealthy.org to see what they have to say. The professionals in this area are your dentist and dental hygienist; I would put great stock in their recommendations as they have familiarity with your mouth and any particular issues you might be facing. They should also be up on the latest products.
Send questions to: "On Nutrition," Ed Blonz, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.