The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers to be wary of claims weight loss supplements. FDA also recommend consumers to consult a doctor before beginning any weight loss program because certain health conditions, such as pregnancy, diabetes or heart disease, may increase health risks of certain supplements. Also, your doctor can tell you which supplements can interact badly with any prescription or over-the-counter medications you take
No weight loss supplements fulfill the criteria for recommended use. That is the verdict of researchers from Harvard Medical School, as reported in the November 1, 2004 edition of “American Family Physician,” a peer-reviewed medical journal. The report goes on to argue that weight loss supplements are at best unproven and at worst potentially dangerous. The following descriptions of supplements represent information from this report.
Although supplements containing ephedra-caffeine combination can be effective for weight loss, prohibited FDA sale of ephedra in 2004. Before that, there were supplements containing ephedrine responsible for 64 percent of all the negative side effects associated with herbal supplements, even if they only consist 0 . 8 of all weight loss supplement sales.
Carbohydrate metabolism Supplements
These supplements contain chromium or ginseng. Chromium can affect weight loss because experts believe it affects carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Ginseng is thought to possibly improve glucose tolerance. But so far, no studies have shown that either chromium or ginseng affects weight loss more than placebo.
Supplements containing glucomannan, psyllium or guar gum claims to trigger a feeling of satiety, or fullness. Although experts do not think these ingredients are dangerous, there is no evidence that they have any effect at all on weight loss.
Fat Oxidation and Fat synthesis Supplements
No studies have shown that hydroxycitric acid, conjugated linoleic acid, green tea, vitamin B5, L-carnitine, licorice and pyruvate is effective for weight loss.
Supplements that claim to Block Fat Absorption
Although several studies found that chitosan, the active ingredient in fat blocking supplements did increase weight loss, disagree to some researchers with methods of these studies, which were conducted by the same group. Later studies by different groups found no weight loss from the use of chitosan.
Other Supplement Ingredients
Dandelions and cascara products claim to help eliminate water from the body, but none have been studied for weight loss benefits. Since dandelion is diuretic and Cascara is a laxative, Harvard researchers warn against prolonged use of some of these drugs.
Laminaria (kelp), guggul and apple cider vinegar also never been studied for weight loss. St. John’s wort has been studied, but no evidence indicated that it was beneficial for weight loss. FDA has declared spirulina (sometimes called blue-green algae) completely ineffective for weight loss.