Weight Loss Supplements Don't Work, A Study Finds

March 11, 2012

A recent research published in the current issue of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism confirmed that almost all weight loss (or weight control) supplements, currently on the market, don’t work. Yes, you heard it right, THEY DO NOT WORK!
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???

The study

In order to conduct the analysis, the research team divided all supplements into four categories:

  1. Products that block the absorption of fat or carbs (e.g., chitosan)
  2. Stimulants that increase thermogenesis (e.g., caffeine or ephedra)
  3. Products that change metabolism and improve body composition (e.g., conjugated linoleic acid)
  4. 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 findings

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


  1. This doesn't surprises me at all...

  2. Nice post. Thank for sharing this wonderful information to us, because most of us are really concious about their weight especially woman. they pay alot to control their weight but no result in the end.


  3. I think supplements have a role to play. If someone is having trouble sticking to a reduced calorie diet, a supplement that diminishes their appetite can help them cut down on the amount of food they eat.

    Other supplements, such as those that speed up metabolism, can also be beneficial. It is true that, for example, there are other ways to speed up metabolism but if a supplement uses a natural product such as green tea that can help with that, it's beneficial to use it as part of a weight loss program.

  4. Very informative post, It is true that if you want to lose your weight, you need to do hard work and follow particular diet. There is no alternative such as taking supplements etc. Pills and supplements are harmful for your health, I agreed they give you instant result but internally they will damage your body. If you want to lose your weight, you need to hire a personal trainer, who prepare your diet chart and teach you all exercise in detail, which are necessary for losing weight.