Cohen, M. Complementary medicines and weight management, Australian Family Physician, August 2006 35(8) 605-606 



The medical and social need for effective weight loss interventions has resulted in a plethora of products and services aimed at helping people to lose weight. Certainly one of the holy grails of medicine is to find a safe and effective weight loss remedy that bypasses the need for caloric restriction or exercise. Unfortunately the laws of thermodynamics suggest that matter (and that includes fat) cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another. This means that the only way to reduce body weight is to expend more calories than consumed. This law however does not preclude a medicine from helping to achieve weight loss by limiting appetite or increasing metabolic rate and there are a number of complementary medicines that claim to achieve this. Many of these products are available over-the-counter and are backed by marketing campaigns that appeal to consumer desire for natural products.