Weight-loss drug Meridia increases heart attack and stroke risk

Meridia (Sibutramine) is an appetite suppressant, and is prescribed by physicians to help obese individuals lose weight. Meridia works by blocking the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain related to appetite. Meridia was shown to reduce food intake and body weight compared to placebo in several trials[1]. However there is no such thing as a drug without side effects.

Concerns regarding adverse cardiovascular events led to a large clinical trial in order to assess Meridia’s safety In 2009, preliminary results from the trial prompted European health officials to withdraw the drug from the market. The final results were published in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and due to those results, the manufacturer stopped producing Meridia. [2] 

The trial evaluated cardiovascular events in subjects assigned to either Meridia or placebo over approximately three years. The trial’s 10,000 participants were overweight or obese individuals over age 55 with either cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, or both. The average weight loss on Meridia was 9.5 lbs. Although the researchers found no increase in death rates among Meridia users, they did find a 28% increase in risk of heart attack, and a 36% increase in risk of stroke. [3]

Weight loss is beneficial for overall health, in part because it helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So essentially, this drug had the exact opposite of its intended effect. Plus the weight loss in this trial was miniscule – 9.5 lbs. is inconsequential for someone who is obese. The Nutritarian diet-style has helped many people lose 50 lbs., 100 lbs., or more and keep it off. Plus healthy eating does not carry an increased risk of cardiovascular events – it only reduces risk.

The bottom line: there are no shortcuts to weight loss or to good health.



1. Tziomalos, K., G.E. Krassas, and T. Tzotzas, The use of sibutramine in the management of obesity and related disorders: an update. Vasc Health Risk Manag, 2009. 5(1): p. 441-52.
2. Heavey, S. Diet drug Meridia study renews calls for U.S. ban. 9/1/2010 9/9/2010]; Available from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38962866/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/.
3. James, W.P., et al., Effect of sibutramine on cardiovascular outcomes in overweight and obese subjects. N Engl J Med, 2010. 363(10): p. 905-17.


Dr. Fuhrman is building a nutritarian army to fight disease!

Eat to Live - book

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Dr. Fuhrman has helped countless individuals make dramatic health recoveries through his unique high-nutrient dietary approach, and as a result they have saved thousands of dollars on medications.  These dramatic success stories - like Anthony, Charlotte, and many more - that were achieved with natural whole foods are newsworthy and critical to consider in our present crisis of expensive and unaffordable health care.

 The number of these remarkable success stories is too overwhelming for the media to ignore.  Everybody needs to be aware that they can recover their health and avoid drug dependency.  Read this press release and share it with others to help spread the word!

Who wants to join Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian army?


Thomas Lost 70 lbs. and Reclaimed His Health - in only Six Months!

2009 has been an exciting year for Thomas. This summer, he reluctantly agreed to take part in a weight-loss contest with a friend, and before he knew it he was on a whirlwind life-changing journey to improved physical, mental, and emotional health!Thomas - April 2009 and November 2009

Thomas recalls his turning point, “On Memorial Day 2009, as I was lounging by my apartment pool with a rum and diet coke in hand, one of my dearest friends Liz suggested that we start a summer diet competition. In my inebriated state, I was happy to please her. As a couple of weeks passed hearing nothing else from her, I was relieved to think she had forgotten. That mirage was not to be. On the evening of June 7, 2009, Liz texted me something along the lines of ‘Alright, I hope you're prepared, because the weight loss starts tomorrow with our first weigh-in.’ This message came through as I had a soft taco shoved in my mouth, which was promptly spit out as the last processed food or animal product I would attempt to ingest to date. That initial June 8, 2009 early morning weigh-in was a disgraceful 223 pounds.”

Thomas had read Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live in 2005 – he was now ready to put it into practice. He found emotional support in his friend Liz and sister Sarah, and from some new friends on the DrFuhrman.com member center.

Thomas jumped right in, and set a (seemingly) lofty goal for himself:

“I made a flippant prediction at work that I could continue beyond the summer to lose 70 total pounds by Thanksgiving. Two colleagues bet against me (reasonably so)…I was more motivated than ever.”

Thomas quickly found success with Dr. Fuhrman’s plan.

“The weight loss was rapid at first, with me losing 23 pounds in the first month…there were several benchmarks along the way: the drop below 200 lbs, the surprise visit for my parents to see it during Labor Day, the drop below 170 lbs, and most recently the most important personal drop below 150 lbs.”

Needless to say, Thomas won the bets!

Of course, Thomas was thrilled to have dropped all of this extra weight, but the real benefits for him are in the improved state of his health:  Before beginning his new lifestyle, Thomas had mild depression symptoms, which have completely disappeared. He was on steroids and then antibiotics for rosacea, and now takes no medications and has no symptoms. He had early signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which have also disappeared. His total cholesterol dropped from 202 to 120, and his blood pressure dropped from 148/90 to 114/77.

The most important lesson Thomas has learned that each of us has control over our own health.

“The most important thing to remember is that heart disease is preventable, many cancers are preventable and treatable with food, and Type II diabetes should be non-existent in our society.”

Thomas expresses his gratitude to Dr. Fuhrman for guiding him on this journey.

“I could not have done it without the book and online personal guidance of Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I have listened to many of Dr. Fuhrman's teleconference recordings and read many of his newsletters, which have all been extraordinarily helpful in supporting me through this journey. This family doctor has literally changed my life and relationship with food. He is truly a one-of-a-kind physician and a Godsend to me.”

Some final thoughts from Thomas…

“I think it is fair to say that this life-changing process for me has been one of the most rewarding of my 32-year life and has helped to erase the four year darkness I had previously endured.  For those of you who aspire for some of the same results in your life, just know that I am living proof that it can be accomplished.”