Supplements That May Help with Thyroid Weight Loss

thyroid, thyroid diet, diet supplements, weight loss supplements
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If you are hypothyroid, you may be finding it difficult to lose weight, or you may be gaining weight, even with treatment, changes to your diet, and increased exercise. Shelves at drugstores and vitamin stores are filled with hundreds of different supplements, all claiming to help you lose weight. But do any of them work? Here are a few dietary supplements that, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, may help you finally succeed in your weight battle.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated linoleic acid, known as CLA, is reported to help reduce body fat in people who are overweight. CLA appears to help only a subset of people who take it, and its greatest value may be as a natural component of a healthy diet. CLA is an omega-6 fatty acid, and has become known in recent years as a weight loss supplement. Some researchers believe that CLA has the ability to inhibit your fat cells from getting larger by affecting the specific enzymes that aid in fat storage. Studies have shown that CLA could be effective in short-term weight loss and spot reduction. CLA is available as a supplement, but some experts suggest that CLA is better derived from the food you eat itself, rather than in pill or capsule form.  The best food sources of CLA are found in butter, beef, veal, button mushrooms, sour cream, lamb, cottage cheese and safflower/sunflower oils.

You can learn more about CLA in the article, " Frequently Asked Questions About CLA." 

Green Tea

Green tea offers several health advantages. Green tea extract may increase your metabolic rate (your rate of energy expenditure) enough to assist somewhat with weight loss and fat burning. Green tea also helps improve daytime alertness, and may help increase energy, allowing you to engage in more exercise and activity, another aid in weight loss.

 Some of the weight loss benefits of green tea stem from caffeine in the product, but other healthful attributes are attributed to a key component of green tea, epigallo catechin gallate, also known as EGCG. 

Combination Supplements

One 2017 study found that a combination of green tea, capsaicin, and ginger in supplement form, when taken for eight weeks by overweight women, had significant beneficial effects on the women's weight and body mass index, and increased their insulin sensitivity. Check supplement labels for weight loss formulations that include these three key ingredients. 

Hoodia Gordonii

The supplement hoodia gordonii was introduced to the U.S. market in early 2004, and was marketed as a natural appetite suppressant. Hoodia is a plant that looks like a cactus, and grows in hot, dry, desert areas of Africa. Some research shows that hoodia has appetite suppressant effects on a subset of people who take it. It can take several weeks to take effect. Some of the effects of hoodia include:

  • A reduced interest in and appetite for food
  • A delay in the time after you eat before you feel hunger
  • Feeling full more quickly
  • An improved general feeling of well-being

Caralluma Fimbriata

Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent in the cactus family.

It has been used for centuries as a natural appetite suppressant in India, and has more recently become available in the U.S. market in supplement form, for weight loss.

Caralluma fimbriata is thought to block the activity of several enzymes, which in turn blocks the body's ability to store and form. This forces more fat reserves to be burned. Caralluma fimbriata is also thought to have an effect on the appetite control mechanism of the brain.

Probiotics and Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are the good bacteria, found in yogurt and fermented foods, that help maintain balance in your intestinal system and promote immune system health.

Some of the best food sources of probiotics are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, Korean kimchee, miso, and kombucha. A number of studies have found that regular consumption of various strains of good bacteria, including lactobacillus, can help significantly reduce body fat. 

With yogurts and probiotic drinks, be sure to look for the "Live & Active Cultures" seal from the National Yogurt Association (NYA).

If you can't get a significant amount of probiotic-rich foods in your diet, you should consider a probiotic supplement. You will likely want a refrigerated supplement that is free of unwanted fillers. Your practitioner can provide guidance on the best brands and strains of probiotic bacteria for you. 

A Word from Verywell

There are many ingredients, components, and foods that can be part of an overall approach to successful weight loss. More and more, individual nutrition and healthy shifts in eating patterns are forming the basis of losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight for you. Thyroid disease calls for special considerations for what is on your supplement list, as well as what is on your plate. Make good choices, and remember, variety is the spice of life!

Sources: 

Mądry E, et al. "Twelve weeks CLA supplementation decreases the hip circumference in overweight and obese women.  A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial." Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. 2016 Jan-Mar;15(1):107-113. doi: 10.17306/J.AFS.2016.1.11.

Ríos-Hoyo A, Gutiérrez-Salmeán G. "New Dietary Supplements for Obesity: What We Currently Know." Curr Obes Rep. 2016 Jun;5(2):262-70. doi: 10.1007/s13679-016-0214-y. Review.

Taghizadeh M, et al. "The Effect of Dietary Supplements Containing Green Tea, Capsaicin and Ginger Extracts on Weight Loss and Metabolic Profiles in Overweight Women: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial." Ann Nutr Metab. 2017;70(4):277-285. doi: 10.1159/000471889. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

Yang CS, et al. "Mechanisms of body weight reduction and metabolic syndrome alleviation by tea." Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Jan;60(1):160-74. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500428. Epub 2015 Dec 9

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