Q: Doctor, what does it mean to have an HDL that is considered higher than the normal range on the lab slip?
A: Under the BODY STATS icon on your homepage you can look up brief descriptors of all typical lab data … for HDL – so called good cholesterol – higher is better! Activity increases HDL.

Q: I would like to know if orlistat damages the liver? Also is it o.k. to take this diet pill if you don’t have a gall bladder?
A: Orlistat/ALLI – The over-the-counter version ALLI is a half-dose of the prescription Orlistat. These medications have been reported in many long term European and other trials and are generally safe. What you should know about these drugs is that they work by partially limiting the ABSORPTION of all fats from the intestine. That may sound like a good thing, but we need healthy fats – omega 3s, olive and other natural vegetable oils – for many critical body functions. If you follow the GLP you will be getting the healthy oils/fats you need and getting rid of the unhealthy ones you don’t need – mostly found in meat and dairy products. In other words, it is not the ABSORPTION of fat that’s the problem – its the CONSUMPTION of fat. Also, while orlistat is remarkably safe, gastrointestinal side effects are seen in over 40% of those taking the medication – stomach upset, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence are some of the list .For more on orlistat, go to your online version of the GLP book in section 3.

Q: What do you think about taking alli?
A: Alli over the counter and prescription Orlistat Xenical Alli – a lower dose version of prescription Orlistat – works by stopping the intestinal absorption of much of the fat that we eat. This also decreases the absorption of dietary cholesterol, which has positive effects on the other fatty substances in the blood called blood lipids. Of course, one of the most important general recommendations of the GREEN LIGHT Program is to reduce the amount of fat intake. That is, the main problem is NOT reducing absorption but reducing consumption of fat. In clinical trials from Europe and the United States, orlistat has proven to be safe. The major problem experienced by up to 35-40% of people taking the medication has been gastrointestinal side-effects. Most patients tolerate this side effect, possibly because the medicine is effective as a weight loss aid and in improving cardiovascular risk profiles. Other studies indicate that the gastrointestinal side effect can be reduced to about 8% of patients by consuming 6 grams of EXTRA natural fiber per day. Of course, increasing fiber in and of itself will help reduce body fatness and improve body shape, but the addition of fiber when taking alli/orlistat seems like a good idea. Clinical studies from many centers throughout North America and in Europe have shown orlistat to be effective in reducing body weight. Most patients report losing about 5-6% of body weight, but many studies reveal that about a third of patients lose 10% or more of their initial starting weights. Int J Clin Pract 2002 Sep,56(7):494-9 Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2001 Nov,25(11):1713-21