Are Weight Loss Supplements Useful

It doesn’t matter what you are doing - browsing the​ Internet,​ surfing cable,​ or​ flipping through your favorite magazine – you will find plenty of​ advertisements that promote the​ magical qualities of​ weight loss supplements. Weight loss supplements come in​ all manner of​ shapes,​ sizes and styles and have a​ range of​ claims and solutions. And there are all manner of​ claims – from pills,​ patches and creams. But do these cures really work? Only you can decide that for yourself. Let’s take a​ look at​ some of​ the​ most popular weight loss products and the​ positive benefits and negative effects of​ each,​ so you can make up your own mind.

Bitter Orange,​ Citrus Aurantium,​ and Sour Orange: These products are made directly from concentrated extracts from orange peel. They often claim that they increase metabolism,​ but there has been no conclusive tests to​ back this up. Bitter Orange,​ Citrus Aurantium,​ and Sour Orange contain the​ stimulant synephrine,​ which can cause hypertension and cardiovascular toxicity. Individuals with heart disease,​ hypertension,​ and glaucoma should avoid these at​ all costs.

Chromium (Examples of​ Chromium products include Puritan’s Pride Chromium Picolinate,​ Vitamin World Naturally Inspired Yeast Free Chromium Picolinate,​ Nutrilite Trim Advantage): the​ claims that chromium increases weight loss and improves body composition have been backed by one main study which proved this to​ be the​ case. There are two types of​ chromium: Trivalent (which the​ body requires and is​ considered safe in​ doses of​ 200 micrograms or​ less daily) and Hexavalent (but this form can cause stomach upsets,​ ulcers,​ convulsions,​ kidney and liver diseases,​ and death).

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) (Examples of​ this product include Vitamin World CLA,​ Nature Made CLA,​ Now Foods CLA): This product claims to​ promote leanness,​ but there are very few studies that actually support the​ marketing claims. While more research is​ needed,​ CLA is​ generally safe.

Ephedra/Ephedrine: Ephedra may aid weight loss by suppressing appetite,​ and research has proven its effectiveness when used with caffeine. However,​ ephedra causes high blood pressure,​ stroke,​ and serious heart problems,​ which is​ why the​ sale of​ dietary supplements containing ephedra was prohibited in​ April 2004.

7-Keto Dehydroepiandrosterone (7-keto DHEA): Preliminary research indicates that this product may decrease body weight and fat composition by increasing metabolism,​ but larger research studies are needed.

Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) and Garcinia Cambogia: These products claim to​ suppress appetite and improve fat metabolism. While studies have shown mixed results,​ they are generally safe.

L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine claims to​ inhibit obesity,​ but there is​ very little evidence of​ its effectiveness.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA),​ Pyruvate,​ and Dihydroxyacetone and Pyruvate (DHAP): a​ few small studies suggest that these supplements may have modest effects on​ weight loss,​ but research is​ needed. Presently,​ no serious side effects have been reported.

Lecithin,​ Guar Gum,​ Psyllium Hulls,​ Chickweed,​ and Chitosan (Examples: Chito-Trim,​ Exercise in​ a​ Bottle,​ Fat Blocker—Chitosan Complex,​ Fat Grabbers,​ Fat Trapper,​ Fat Trapper Plus,​ Metabo Fat Blocker,​ Miracletab,​ Now Chitosan with Chromium): These products claim to​ help break down fat so that it​ can be absorbed,​ emulsified,​ trapped,​ and eliminated by the​ body. There is​ currently no competent and reliable scientific research to​ support such claims.

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