15 Popular Weight Loss Supplements

15 Popular Weight Loss Supplements

Woman measuring her waist
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If you go into any health food store or look online, you'll find hundreds of weight loss supplements, many of them claiming to have remarkable benefits. Although it's tempting to try new supplements, little is known about the safety and effectiveness of supplements for weight loss, due to a lack of clinical trials and the current state of supplement regulation. Here's the scoop on 15 popular supplements.

1) Fucoxanthin

Fucoxanthin is an antioxidant found naturally in edible brown seaweed such as wakame, the seaweed used in miso soup. Although there haven't been any human studies, preliminary research in animals suggests it may target abdominal fat. Fucoxanthin also doesn't appear to be a stimulant like ephedra, bitter orange or caffeine. Fucoxanthin: What You Need to Know.

2) Green Tea

There is some research indicating that substances in green tea, such as theanine, may raise your metabolism and suppress your appetite. Although drinking green tea may not help you with weight loss on its own, there is some evidence that drinking green tea may support your weight loss efforts. Green Tea for Weight Loss and Theanine: What You Need to Know.

3) White Bean Extract

White bean extract, also known as Phaseolus vulgaris, is a natural substance that is commonly sold in supplement form. Typically marketed as a "starch blocker", proponents of white bean extract claim that it can prevent the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose (sugar).

White Bean Extract: What You Need to Know.

4) CLA

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid found naturally in dairy and in beef and also available in supplement form. Proponents claim that CLA can decrease fat while building muscle. CLA for Weight Loss.

5) Glucomannan

Glucomannan is a substance that is extracted from the root of the konjac (a plant native to Asia).

Rich in soluble fiber which attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, proponents claim that glucomannan suppresses appetite and promotes the feeling of satiety. Glucomannan: What You Need to Know.

6) Chitosan

Chitosan is a dietary supplement made from chitin, which is found in shells of crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimp, and lobster. Although there is currently little scientific research regarding the use of chitosan for weight loss, proponents claim that it can fight fat absorption. Chitosan and Weight Loss.

7) Vitamin D

Some research suggests that vitamin D supplements may help with people who are low on vitamin D lose weight. Vitamin D for Weight Loss.

8) hCG

A human hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy, hCG is said to promote weight loss by suppressing appetite, increasing metabolism and reducing body fat. HCG is a central ingredient in the hCG diet. It is administered by injection, but is also available in dietary supplement form. hCG Diet: What You Need to Know.

9) Resveratrol

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes.

It is said to speed up metabolism and prevent the growth of fat cells. Resveratrol for Weight Loss.

10) Capsaicin

Capsaicin, a natural compound in chili peppers, is said to promote weight loss. Proponents claim that the compound can boost metabolism, decrease appetite, and reduce fat. Some preliminary studies suggest that this spicy chemical may be of some benefit to those trying to slim down. Capsaicin for Weight Loss.

11) Chia

Chia is a plant sold in seed, oil, and capsule form. Chia contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, and is often marketed as a weight loss aid. Chia for Weight Loss.

12) Hoodia

Hoodia is one of the better-known herbal supplements used as a natural appetite suppressant, but there haven't been any clinical trials involving humans yet. If you search online for hoodia, you'll find hundreds of companies selling hoodia and cautioning you not to buy the competitor's useless hoodia pills. Counterfeit or fake hoodia is a real problem – it's been estimated that more than half of all hoodia products aren't actually the real thing. Hoodia: What You Need to Know

13) Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been marketed as a natural appetite suppressant. There’s even an apple cider vinegar diet, which involves taking one to three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar pills before each meal. While there's no harm in using some vinegar in cooking (a preliminary study suggests it may promote satiety), there have been reports of adverse effects with the use of apple cider vinegar tablets. Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss.

14) Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are said to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Coconut Oil: What You Need to Know.

15) Bitter Orange

After ephedra was taken off the market in 2004, bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) a herb similar to ephedra, has been marketed as a weight loss aid. Proponents claim that bitter orange can stimulate the fat-burning process. Bitter orange may raise blood pressure, increase heart rate or cause abnormal heart rhythms. Not Recommended Bitter Orange: What You Need to Know.

Using Supplements

These supplements haven't been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications. You can get tips on using supplements here, but should always speak with your primary care provider before using supplements or alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen. Self-treating a health condition and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.


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Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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