Orlistat is a medication used in the treatment of obesity. However, it may also have beneficial effects in controlling cholesterol levels and preventing the development of type 2 diabetes. Orlistat is a derivative of a biologically active compound called lipstatin, which was isolated from certain bacteria, and which effectively inhibits enzymes produced by the pancreas that are responsible for fat digestion in the intestines. Orlistat works by inhibiting the activity of lipases, which are digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas that break down fat molecules into smaller compounds called fatty acids. Fat can only be absorbed in the intestines in the form of fatty acids, otherwise it will be eliminated through feces without being used. Orlistat decreases fat deposits and improves obesity by impairing the transformation of fat into fatty acids, through lipase inhibition, which results in decreased fat absorption from food. However, medical professionals believe that Orlistat therapy should be accompanied by a low-fat diet to ensure its effectiveness. Orlistat alone may sometimes be insufficient in decreasing the weight of a person suffering from obesity. Moderate physical exercise is also a beneficial addition to Orlistat therapy.
Orlistat is also effective in controlling cholesterol and preventing type 2 diabetes. It is believed that Orlistat may control cardiovascular health by preventing cholesterol buildup in the arteries, which can cause dangerous blockages of blood flow. Because type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity, Orlistat may be helpful in decreasing the chances of getting this metabolic disorder. Type 2 diabetes is caused by a decreased sensitivity of tissues to circulating insulin, which causes high blood sugar. This disorder is especially frequent in people who are overweight, and this is why Orlistat may help in preventing this disease.
Although Orlistat may be available in some countries without a prescription from a doctor, it is still recommended to seek a doctor’s advice before considering Orlistat treatment for obesity. Because Orlistat increases the removal of unabsorbed fats from food through the colon, it can cause several unpleasant but harmless side effects in the digestive system. Orlistat side effects may include loose stools that contain high amounts of oil, which is known as steatorrhea, fecal incontinence or frequent need to defecate. These side effects may be effectively minimized by consuming a low-fat diet. Because some vitamins such as vitamin A, D and E are usually provided in the form of fat from food, Orlistat may diminish the absorption of these vitamins. Their supplementation will decrease the risk of vitamin deficiency during Orlistat treatment. Obesity is a condition that creates an unnecessary health risk associated with high levels of cholesterol so don’t hesitate to get evaluated by a qualified physician and start the recommended treatment soon.