The basics of weight loss are to eat less and shift more. However, weight-loss Supplements and pills can help some people, but you still need to concentrate on a proper diet and exercise. Remember, weight loss is all about lifestyle changes, and there is no magical pill to help you lose pounds without hard work. People who depend on supplements alone may harm their self.
What are Weight Loss Supplements?
Weight loss dietary supplements are available over the counter in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders. It can include hundreds of ingredients. However, there is no definite evidence that these supplements are effective. Some people even think that studies conducted on these products were for commercial purposes. The FDA restricts the use of medicinal substances in dietary supplements because they may interact with other medications and cause hazardous health concerns. Similarly, the weight-loss diet plan works for one person will not work for everyone. This applies to supplements as well. People who are thinking about using supplements for weight management purposes should talk to their doctor about the potential benefits and risks. (1)
1. Green tea extract
Green tea extract is a popular ingredient in many weight loss supplements. It has been proven that the main antioxidant in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). This antioxidant has fat-burning effects. In addition, green tea extract may increase the activity of norepinephrine. Many studies have shown that green tea extract can lead to increased fat burning, specifically in the abdominal area. However, drinking green tea should also have all the health benefits of green tea extracts. (2)
Many weight loss products contain green tea extracts. The main antioxidant in green tea is EGCG, which is believed to promote fat loss in the belly area.
Caffeine is the psychoactive substance most commonly used for an energy boost purposes. According to one study, caffeine can increase metabolism by up to 11% and burn fat by up to 29%. Some studies have also shown that caffeine can cause moderate weight loss. However, you don’t need to take caffeine in pill form. Coffee and green tea are the best antioxidants and the best sources of caffeine. (3)
Caffeine is the most often used psychoactive substance for mental and physical performance. Tea and coffee are the best sources of caffeine.
3. Hydroxy cut pills
Hydroxy cut is among most popular weight loss supplements in the world, and it has been around for more than a decade. This product has several ingredients, including lady’s mantle extract (alchemilla vulgaris), wild olive extract (olea europaea), cumin extract (cuminum cyminum), wild mint extract (mentha longifolia), and green coffee bean extract (coffea canephora). These extracts may help with weight loss. In one controlled study, the researchers used the same extracts in tablet form in overweight obese people. The extracts helped them to lose 21 lbs within 3 months. However, this weight loss supplement might not suitable for people sensitive to caffeine.
Hydroxy cut contains ingredients such as lady’s mantle extract, wild olive extract, cumin extract, and wild mint extract.
4. Garcinia cambogia extract
Garcinia Cambogia is also a famous weight-loss dietary supplement. It’s a small green fruit that contains hydroxy citric acid (HCA). This is the active ingredient in Cambogia garcinia that is sold as a dietary supplement. Animal studies have shown that it can block fat producing enzyme in the body and can increase the level of serotonin, which can lead to appetite reduction. One study in 130 people compared garcinia to a dummy pill. The weight or body fat percentage between groups was unchanged. In another study, Garcinia Cambogia caused a weight loss of 2 pounds (0.88 kilograms) resulting in several weeks. The effects of Garcinia Cambogia on weight loss may not look much, but it may help increase the level of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood, happiness, and anxiety. (4, 5, 6)
Garcinia Cambogia is a little green fruit that contains hydroxy citric acid (HCA), which may block fat-producing enzymes in the body and enhance serotonin levels.
5. Orlistat (Alli) by Xenical
Orlistat is a pharmaceutical medicine, marketed under the name Alli, and prescribed under the name of Xenical. This weight loss pill is effective, and it prevents the fat from digestion. According to Mayo Clinic staff, orlistat helps you lose weight by reducing the amount of dietary fat absorbed in your intestines. Lipase, a digestive enzyme, aids in the breakdown of dietary fat into smaller components that can be stored and later used as energy. Orlistat blocks lipase activity and 25% of the fat you eat is removed through bowel movements. In one study, orlistat in combination to lifestyle changes showed a slight reduction in blood pressure and prevented type 2 diabetes by 37%. (7)
Many users have noticed some of the side effects of orlistat such as urgent bowel movements, oily stools, frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain, and oily spotting on underwear. A low-fat diet is recommended to minimize side effects of orlistat. It is appealing to understand that a low-carb diet is equally effective as a combination of both orlistat and low-fat diet.
Orlistat blocks lipase, a digestive enzyme that store fat in the body for energy use. When combined with lifestyle changes, it can reduce blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
6. Green coffee bean extract
In green coffee beans, the amount of chlorogenic acid is higher than the black coffee beans. Because the beans are not yet roasted. The chlorogenic acid in green coffee can help in burning body fat and regulates blood pressure by slowing down the carbohydrate breakdown in the stomach. Green coffee extract can also influence how the body manages blood sugar and metabolism. In one study, the green coffee extract group lost 5.4 pounds higher than the group took a dummy pill. It is high in antioxidants. However, green coffee extracts contain caffeine. Side effects such as diarrhea noticed in certain people allergic to caffeine. (8)
Green coffee extract has the potential to alter how the body balances blood sugar and metabolism. It contains chlorogenic acid, which aids in fat burning and blood pressure regulation by slowing carbohydrate digestion.
7. Glucomannan dietary fiber
Glucomannan also called konjac is a dietary fiber extracted from the roots of elephant foot yam. The fiber can reduce the absorption of sugar and cholesterol in the intestine, which can help in regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics. It can also lower cholesterol levels, feed friendly intestinal bacteria, boost minerals absorption, and treat constipation. However, fiber is believed to sit in your gut and helps you eat fewer calories by promoting a feeling of fullness. In one study, in 176 men and women who consumed glucomannan fiber and following healthy lifestyle lost 8-10 pounds within 5 weeks. This means fiber-rich diet is an essential element of weight loss with tons of other health benefits. (9)
Glucomannan is a dietary fibre derived from elephant foot yam roots. It can help diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels by reducing the absorption of sugar and in the gut.
8. Raspberry ketones
Raspberry ketone is an ingredient accountable for a special smell of raspberries. It is extracted from red raspberries, which are assumed to aid in weight loss. A synthetic version of raspberry ketones is available and sold as a weight loss supplement. One animal study shows that raspberry ketone may boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and boost fat burning. Another animal study suggests that the antioxidant capacity of raspberry ketone in combination to calorie-restricted diet can effectively prevent neurodegenerative changes caused by obesity and may delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in rats. Because of the lack of evidence, it is hard to draw a conclusion about the effects of raspberry ketone on weight loss. There is no human study on raspberry ketone available. (10, 11)
Raspberry ketone is derived from red raspberries. The supplement is believed to aid in weight loss. There has been no human research on the effects of raspberry ketone on weight loss.
9. Meratrim dietary pills
Meratrim pills contain two herbal extracts, Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana, which may alter the fat cell metabolism. Sphaeranthus indicus is a plant related to Asteraceae family. It has medicinal use in Southeast Asian countries. Likewise, Garcinia mangostana used in the same Ayurvedic practice. These herbs are used to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions, including diabetes, psoriasis, weight loss and many more. However, only one study on meratrim has been carried out. They conducted the study in 100 obese people split into two groups. After 8 weeks, the meratrim group lost 11 pounds of weight and 4.7 inches of waistline. They also noticed improvements in their blood sugar, cholesterol, and overall triglycerides levels. Interestingly, no side effects have been reported during the study. (12)
Meratrim pills contain Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana plant extracts. After 8 weeks of the study, the meratrim group had lost 11 pounds weight and 4.7 inches waistline. During the research, no negative effects were reported. The supplement seems well tolerated by many people.
10. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, has long been a popular fat loss supplement. It is one of the most wholesome trans fat, and it is naturally available in certain fatty animal foods such as cheese, butter and beef. Conjugated linoleic acid may aid in the reduction of body fat deposits, reduce appetite, boost metabolism and improve immunological function. Studies have shown that CLA has caused a weight loss of approximately 0.2 pounds per week for up to six months. When compared to the dummy pill, CLA can lose about 3 lbs more weight. It may cause stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, nausea, exhaustion, headache, backache, and an increased risk of bleeding if used in large doses. Conjugated linoleic acid can also cause liver damage, however, it is very rare.
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is a fat-burning supplement. When taken in large dosages, it can induce stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness, headache, and increased risk of bleeding. However, it might induce liver damage, albeit this is quite rare.
Dietary supplements for weight loss are available over the counter in a variety of forms. There is no conclusive evidence that weight loss supplements work. The FDA restricts the use of medicinal compounds in dietary supplements because they may interact with other medications and pose a risk to one’s health. People considering using weight-loss supplements should consult with their doctor about the benefits and risks.
- Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults. The Journal of Nutrition. 2009.
- Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989.
- A Double Blinded- Randomized Clinical Study with “Weighlevel”, a Combination of Four Medicinal Plants Used in Traditional Greco-Arab and Islamic Medicine. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal. 2010.
- Safety and mechanism of appetite suppression by a novel hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX). Mol Cell Biochem. 2002.
- Garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Potential Antiobesity Agent A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 1998
- The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. 2010.
- XENical in the prevention of diabetes in obese subjects (XENDOS) study: a randomized study of orlistat as an adjunct to lifestyle changes for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in obese patients. Diabetes Care. 2004.
- The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. J Int Med Res. 2007.
- Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction. Med Sci Monit. 2005.
- Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 2005.
- Efficacy and tolerability of an herbal formulation for weight management. J Med Food. 2013.
- Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007.