Orlistat is a drug designed to treat obesity. It is marketed as a prescription drug under the trade name Xenical. It is intended for use in conjunction with a healthcare provider-supervised reduced-calorie diet.
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Xenical (Orlistat) is a medication aimed at blocking lipase – the enzyme that dissolves fat for its further absorption. No fat – less calories, less calories – means you can eat as usual and lose in weight. Most of the fat is excreted with feces, therefore, it is very important to keep low fat low carbon diet, othervice you can experience the most common of the side effects – diarrhea. It can be avoided by keeping compliance with doctors recommendations.
When on Xenical (Orlistat), 30% of the eaten fat is not broken down into its components, is not absorbed in the intestine, but passes through the gastrointestinal tract without delay and is excreted along with feces.
Suppose you really eat a lot of fat (which by itself should not be, because when you stop using Xenical (Orlistat), maintaining your usual diet, you will regain your kilograms very soon).
In this case, the presence of a very large amount of fat in the feces causes the appearance of oily secretions from the anus, flatulence, diarrhea, fecal incontinence.
Keep in mind, since Xenical has a number of contraindications, you can take it only as directed by the endocrinologist.
Lipids (fats and fat-like substances) are the highest-calorie component of our food: more than 9 kcal will be obtained from one gram, while for proteins and carbohydrates this figure is 2.5 times less. It would seem that if you don’t eat fat, you will lose weight, that’s the whole trick. However, a strong reduction in the proportion of lipids in the diet is harmful to the body. At least, such conclusions can be drawn from studies on hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and North America. For satiety, it’s not enough to fill the stomach with “light” food: alas, after eating a low-calorie salad, you will soon feel hunger again. A small amount of subcutaneous fatty tissue (although at this moment its presence from the outside will not be noticeable) is also more likely than harmful: it protects the body from hypothermia and shock.
At the biochemical level, fats and fat-like substances are also needed. Cell membranes mainly consist of lipids; without them, many hormones, vitamins, and signal molecules cannot be made. As a result, on a diet without any fats in the short term, you will get flaky skin, you can ruin your hair and nails – and these are just the immediate external manifestations. The liver can also synthesize many fatty acids from improvised materials – carbohydrates. Xenical (Orlistat) only blocks 30% of fat consumption, so it should not harm you, although for prolonged use, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above – talk to your doctor.
For example, linoleic and linoleic acids cannot be replenished in this way – and from them the body makes substances useful for the work of the brain. Therefore, such fatty acids must be obtained from foods. Especially a lot of them will be in fish oil and green parts of plants (therefore, by the way, the Mediterranean diet is considered useful), and, of course, fats help save energy for the future.
Rise Against Lipases
If you can’t refuse fats at all, let’s see how they are processed. In the stomach and before it, little is going on with them: for the breakdown of fats, a little more “heavy artillery” is needed than there is in saliva and in the stomach (although lingual and gastric lipases await them there, they are not very active in the acidic environment in which they work, and large drops of fat are available to them only from the surface).
In the stomach, fats are mainly emulsified into small particles when mixed with other contents and under the influence of lecithin. But in the duodenum, fats are crushed into microscopic lumps and droplets that are more digestible for enzymes thanks to bile. There they will meet with pancreatic lipase, which breaks down and “cuts” complex molecules of triglycerides (the main component of animal or vegetable fat) into simpler components.
Further, fats are absorbed in the small intestine and go where the body needs them – or get stored where they are not welcome, if the needs of the body are already satisfied. And in order to prevent fat from storing, Xenical (Orlistat) manufacturers propose to disrupt the functioning of that pancreatic lipase: you can’t block each molecule of lipids at this dosage, but some of the fats will not be metabolized.
The main active component of Xenical (Orlistat) (also known as Xenical, Alli, Listata, Orlimaks and Orsoten) is tetrohydrolipstatin. It was obtained from lipstatin, a substance secreted by the bacterium Streptomyces toxytricini.
The fact that lipstatin completely and irrevocably blocks the work of pancreatic lipase, scientists learned back in the 1980s. Soon, a more stable and easy to use, isomer was developed. It was originally planned to use Xenical (Orlistat) against high blood lipids, but pharmacologists soon realized that weight loss is a much wider and more profitable area for Xenical (Orlistat). So tetrahydrolipstatin has become a famous medicine – the world’s first anti-obesity drug with local action.
Why local if the medicine is administered orally? Xenical (Orlistat) acts on lipases in the intestine, but is practically not absorbed into the blood and does not have a systemic effect on the body. Like lipids undigested by his fault, Xenical (Orlistat) after meeting with a lipase declares neutrality to everyone and is excreted from the body with feces in almost unchanged form. The maximum concentration of Xenical (Orlistat) in plasma is detected in the first eight hours, but they remain at the level of statistical error of the measurement method. The fact that Xenical (Orlistat) is able to somehow accumulate in the body was also not possible to prove.
In Australia, the United States and the European Union, Xenical (Orlistat) is sold over-the-counter. Xenical was allowed to use even by the picky experts of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approving a dosage of 120 mg three times a day.
Critics of Xenical (Orlistat) say that it has insignificant effect on the weight loss, and the success is explained by the fact that a patient also needs to change diet while using it. Clinical trials have proved Xenical (Orlistat) effective, and it is extremely popular among people trying to lose weight.