Do You Take Weight Loss Supplements?

Discussing Diet Supplements and Weight Loss Supplements

All week we have been discussing the dangers of using dietary supplements. It’s important to remember that the FDA has only approved the use of five dietary supplements to help prevent or treat disease. So, caution should be used when taking weight loss supplements.

Dietary supplements are products designed to enhance the intake of nutrients normally obtained from food. Our discussion today will focus on so-called diet supplements, that is those products intended as appetite suppressants, and those that are self-described as weight loss aids or fat burners. These claims can be listed under the law even without scientific evidence of efficacy.

No weight loss or diet supplements are FDA-approved because the FDA reviews evidence supplied by the manufacturers and no manufacturer has done the necessary double-blind placebo research suitable for peer review. The FDA does no independent research.

The only non-Rx weight loss product approved by the FDA is Alli brand of Orlistat, a fat absorption blocker. Orlistat is not found in the human diet. The studies cited by the manufacturers of the weight loss products often cite animal studies in Italy or China as their evidence of usefulness.

This is hardly an exhaustive list but we hope it helps demystify available weight loss supplement choices:

Rationale: Said to increase metabolism, burn fat, and aid in energy while reducing appetite
Typical ingredients: cocoa seed, green tea extract, white tea, oolong tea, camelia sinesis, theobromine, skullcap, rhodiola rosea

Amino Acids
Rationale: Retain or increase lean muscle mass
Typical ingredients: Carnitine, taurine, leucine, hmb

Vitamins and Minerals:
Rationale: Increase energy
Typical ingredients: Various, especially B vitamins and calcium

Rationale: Burn fat cells
Typical ingredients: Bioflavonoids, quercetin, ginger, raspberry, vitamin C

Carbohydrate Suppression
Rationale: prevents absorption of carbs and reduces appetite for carbs
Typical ingredients: Various forms of garcinia cambogia

Serotonin Enhancers
Rationale: Overeating occurs if a person is feeling depressed
Typical ingredients: Tyrosine, SamE, St. John’s Wort

Blood Sugar Stabilizers
Rationale: Normalizes insulin and blood sugar levels, decreases sugar cravings
Typical ingredients: Gymnema sylvestre, chromium, vanadyl

Hormone Boosters
Rationale: Increasing testosterone levels increases lean muscle and burns belly fact
Typical ingredients: Yohimbe, magnesium, dhea, 7-keto, pregnenolone

Fat Blockers
Rationale: Inhibit absorption of fat
Typical ingredients: chitosan, kale extract, iodine, clam shell extract

Rationale: Excreting water causes weight loss
Typical ingredients: dandelion, uva ursi

Protein Shakes
Rationale: Meal replacement and/or increase lean muscle
Typical ingredients: Whey, soy, egg or milk protein

Thyroid Enhancement
Rationale: Increase thyroid hormone to burn fat
Traditional ingredients: Tyrosine, guggulipid, kale extract, iodine

Rationale: Liquifies body fat so fat can be burned more efficiently
Typical ingredients: Lecithin, phosphatidyl serine, ps, fish oil, dha, epaes


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