Jillian Michaels’s newest weight loss program, Quick Start, claims to help dieters shed extra pounds by taking a series of weight loss supplements, called Maximum Strength Calorie Control and Maximum Strength Fat Burner. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, it supposedly helps you lose weight effortlessly, without having to restrict your caloric intake.
But a recent lawsuit against the Jillian Michaels Quick Start program is drawing attention to its safety.
According to the lawsuit, which was issued in February 2010, the Quick Start program did not cause any weight loss, help dieters reduce their appetite or burn more fat. The issuer of the lawsuit, a Californian dieter, claims the Jillian Michaels Quick Start program did not help her lose any weight.
Some of the ingredients in Jillian Michaels Quick Start are also not safe for everyday use, including bitter orange.
Is the Jillian Michaels Quick Start Program Safe?
Although Jillian Michaels claims her diet supplements are effective, some of its ingredients are potentially unsafe for people suffering from heart or bleeding problems. These ingredients include:
Bitter Orange: Also called citrus aurantium, this ephedra-like substitute may cause heart problems, leading to a heart attack or stroke. It is also linked to an increased risk for migraines, high blood pressure and ischemic colitis, or an inflammation of the large intestine. It is not safe for everyday use, especially for people with pre-existing heart problems.
Coleus Forskohlii: A common extract used in traditional Asian medicine, coleus forskohlii is associated with an increased risk of bleeding, increasing the complications of bleeding disorders. It also causes upper respiratory tract irritation, excessive coughing, tremors and restlessness. It also stimulates insulin production, making it unsafe for diabetics.
White Willow Bark: Although About.com writer Cathy Wong cites it as an effective-and all-natural-pain reliever, regular use is associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, dizziness, cramping, nausea, stomach pain or ulcers. Because it is chemically similar to aspirin, people who are allergic to aspirin should not take it. Overuse may also cause liver damage.
So Is Jillian Michaels Quick Start safe to use? Probably not-especially if you have a history of heart or bleeding problems. It may be sponsored by one of the most famous fitness experts in the United States, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.
Rosemary Black, “‘Biggest Loser’ Trainer Jillian Michaels sued over weight loss supplement pills” (NYDailyNews.com)
Cathy Wong, “What is White Willow Bark?” (About.com)