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Fat Burner
February 2001

Q. I am 18 years old, about 208 pounds and have been working out about a little over a year. I am gaining muscle mass, but I have excessive fat in the pectoral region and a bit of a "flat tire" around the belly area and thighs. I eat right, but the body fat is the same (around 16-18%). I don't believe in steroids or pills, but I have seen good reviews on xenadrine, which is supposed to be a good "fat burning" product. I was wondering from the medical point of view if these really to work and how long I should take these before I reach my goal of maybe 10% body fat. I work out about 3 hours a day for four days a

A. Xenadrine is an herbal medicine containing eight different herbs and vitamins that is supposed to suppress the appetite, boost the metabolism, and increase the burning of fat. The big question is whether it is effective. The problem is that there is very little medical evidence supporting its use, and at least one advertisement Išve seen claims that a paper had been accepted for publication in a scientific journal. As of today, that article has not yet been published, so itšs impossible for me to evaluate whether the treatment is effective.

It is not possible for me to say how long it will take for you to reach your goal of 10% body fat. In general, I think losing weight at about a pound a week (4 pounds a month) would be a nice average. Certainly you wouldnšt want to lose weight at a much faster rate than that. How long it takes you to go from your current 16% to 10% depends on how many pounds you need to lose. As a another thought, you didnšt mention whether you are a male or a female.

Men and women should have different amounts of body fat. That is, the expected body fat percentage differs for men and women. Ten percent might be low if you are a woman, especially one that is interested in having children in the future.

Not to support any particular form of Xenadrine, but I did find one Web page that gives a lot of information (but I must emphasize that I cannot support their claims that it is medically proven--http://store.yahoo.com/vitanet/xenadrinerfa1.html).

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