Safe Supplements for Weight Loss

The temptation to use non-prescription weight-loss tablets to slim down quick is strong. But are these products safe and effective?

The appeal of losing weight rapidly is hard to withstand. However do weight-loss tablets and products lighten anything but your wallet? And are they a safe choice for weight loss? Here’s a look at some non-prescription weight-loss pills and what they will and will not do for you.

Understanding “Clinically Proven” Mark

When a dietary supplement is marketed as “clinically shown” to cause weight loss, there ought to be some type of medical evidence to support it. Such a claim, however, offers no details about the clinical research.

For instance, raspberry ketone supplements are marketed as clinically shown, natural weight-loss products. As of November 2014, the results of just one medical trial with raspberry ketone had actually been released. The results include the following info:

  • The eight-week trial used a multi-ingredient supplement with raspberry ketone, caffeine, bitter orange, ginger root extract and garlic root extract, along with other herbs, minerals and vitamins.
  • Seventy obese adults were arbitrarily appointed to get either the supplement or a non-active ingredient (placebo).
  • All of the individuals were placed on a limited diet and workout program.
  • Forty-five individuals completed all eight weeks of the trial.
  • Among people completing the trial, the typical weight loss in the supplement group was 4.2 pounds (1.9 kilograms).
  • The average weight loss in the placebo group was 0.9 pounds (0.4 kilograms).

safe supplements to take for weight loss

While the difference between the two groups was significant, the weight loss in the treatment group was still modest. And the trial was only eight weeks, which is not long enough to understand if the supplement will help promote weight loss over the long term, according to Because the supplement consisted of multiple ingredients, it’s not possible to judge which ingredients caused a treatment result.

Understanding safety concerns

Restricted research also makes it challenging to evaluate the safety of a weight-loss supplement. And an item isn’t really necessarily safe merely because it’s natural.

Ephedra, or ma huang, is an herbal stimulant that was as soon as used in weight-loss products. In 2004, the FDA prohibited ephedra since of possible adverse results, consisting of mood changes, hypertension, irregular heart rate, stroke, seizures and cardiovascular disease.

Bitter orange is a presently readily available herbal stimulant that is often called an “ephedra substitute” and is used in some weight-loss supplements. The active ingredient in bitter orange has chemical properties and actions that are similar to ephedra and may be related to similar adverse effects. Since of minimal research and using bitter orange in multi-ingredient supplements, the safety of the product isn’t well-understood.

How to Choose Right and Best Supplements for Weight Loss?

It’s crucial to do your research if you’re thinking of trying non-prescription weight-loss tablets. General info about lots of dietary supplements is offered at the website of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database summarizes research regarding dietary supplements and herbal products. Although the database is only readily available by subscription, you might be able to gain access to it through a public library.

The following table reveals common weight-loss pills and what the research shows about their efficiency and safety.

List of Natural and Safe Weight Loss Supplements for Men and Women

Product Claim Effectiveness Side effects
Alli — nonprescription version of orlistat Decreases absorption of dietary fat Modest benefit, less effective than prescription-strength orlistat (Xenical) Loose stools, oily spotting, frequent or hard-to-control bowel movements; reports of unusual but serious liver damage
Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) Increases calories burned, suppresses appetite Possible modest benefit; very little data Increased heart rate and blood pressure; reports of anxiety, stroke, irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular disease
Chitosan (from exoskeleton of shellfish) Blocks absorption of dietary fat Probably ineffective; few well-designed studies Uncommon: indigestion, nausea, gas, increased stool bulk, constipation
Chromium (essential mineral) Increases lean muscle mass, decreases appetite, increases calories burned Probably ineffective Uncommon: watery stools, headache, weakness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, hives
Conjugated linoleic acid (derived from dairy products and beef) Reduces body fat Possible modest benefit Upset stomach, nausea, constipation, loose stools; may decrease good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol
Green coffee extract Reduces absorption of sugar (glucose), increases calorie and fat metabolism Possible modest benefit Excessive use: anxiety, agitation, sleeping disorders, nausea, irregular heartbeat
Green tea extract Decreases fat absorption, increases calorie and fat metabolism Possible slight benefit Long-lasting use with high doses: insomnia, agitation, dizziness, queasiness, vomiting, bloating, gas, diarrhea; reports of liver issue
Guar gum (derived from Indian cluster bean) Blocks absorption of dietary fat, increases feeling of fullness Probably ineffective Abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea
Hoodia (succulent plant) Decreases appetite Probably ineffective; insufficient data Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting; possible increase in heart rate and blood pressure
Raspberry ketone Increases fat metabolism Insufficient data Insufficient data


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