The study, conducted at the Oregon State University by Dr. Melinda Monroe and her research team, reviewed the evidence surrounding hundreds of weight loss supplements (a $2.4 billion industry in the United States alone) and concluded that no research evidence exists that any single product results in significant weight loss.
But that’s not it, a lot of such supplements have side effects that can be detrimental to our health: what about that???
In order to conduct the analysis, the research team divided all supplements into four categories:
- Products that block the absorption of fat or carbs (e.g., chitosan)
- Stimulants that increase thermogenesis (e.g., caffeine or ephedra)
- Products that change metabolism and improve body composition (e.g., conjugated linoleic acid)
- Products that suppress appetite or give a sense of fullness (e.g., soluble fibers)
Each category was reviewed and an overview of the current science related to their effectiveness was taken into consideration.
The study found that many products had no randomized clinical trials examining their effectiveness, and most of the research studies did not include exercise. The majority of the products showed less than a 2 pound weight loss benefit (1 kilo).
The study concluded that only few weight-loss supplements work and, on top of that, produce very modest effects, but only in the long term. However, no of them can deliver the magic they claim to do.
When people seek to lose weight they, at the same time, want to increase lean tissue mass.
There’s no evidence that any supplement does this.
Worst is, some have side effects ranging from the unpleasant (such as bloating and gas) to very serious issues such as strokes and heart problems (ugh!)
In particular, weight-loss supplements containing metabolic stimulants (such as caffeine, ephedra or synephrine) are most likely to produce adverse side effects and should be avoided.
A few products, including green tea, fiber and low-fat dairy supplements, can have a modest weight loss benefit of 3-4 pounds, but it is important to know that most of these supplements were tested as part of a reduced calorie diet.
Truth it, unless you alter your eating regimen and start exercising, no supplement is going to have a big impact.
You can use the money saved on supplements to get a membership at gym, yoga studio or to buy yourself a brand new pair of running shoes. That will be money well spent...because to lose weight the best is to sweat it out: simple as that!
The Iron You