What Is the Best Supplement for Weight Loss?

what is the best supplement for weight loss
Do weight loss supplements work, and are they safe? Many products claim to help you lose weight quickly but lack scientific evidence

Weight loss supplements are products that claim to help you lose weight through one or a combination of the following mechanisms:

  • Increased metabolic rate or the breakdown of energy stores (fat deposits) in the body (fat burners)
  • Lowering the absorption of fat from the gut (fat trappers)
  • Reduced appetite and cravings
  • Improved stamina or increased energy

Obesity is a serious health issue that affects many people in the United States. Although a healthy lifestyle is the safest and most effective strategy for preventing obesity, most people have trouble being consistent with eating healthy and exercise. But do weight loss supplements work, and are they safe?

What ingredients are in weight loss supplements?

Popular ingredients in weight loss supplements available in the market include:

  • Caffeine
  • Capsaicin and other capsaicinoids
  • Chitosan
  • Beta-glucans
  • African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) extract
  • Raspberry ketones
  • Garcinia cambogia extract
  • Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) extract
  • Wild mint extract (Vaccinium myrtillus)
  • Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.)
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Carnitine
  • Green coffee bean extract
  • Guar gum
  • Green tea and its extract
  • Glucomannan 
  • Probiotics

Do weight loss supplements work?

Although weight loss supplements make dramatic claims about helping achieve your desired weight, they lack sufficient studies and scientific evidence.

Most manufacturers of weight loss supplements have not even performed clinical trials to support their claims. And even when clinical studies were conducted, they either had too few participants or were not long enough to provide significant results. Results regarding weight loss were either inconclusive, minimal, or modest.

Many of these trials didn’t show whether the supplements will prevent weight gain after stopping the supplements or whether the weight loss is sustainable. Furthermore, most studies or trials conducted were of poor methodological quality, and many did not take into consideration factors such as initial weight, age, determination to lose weight, lifestyle, stress levels, and underlying health conditions that may have influenced the results.

Are weight loss supplements safe?

Although the FDA regulates dietary supplements for their safety, they do not regulate weight loss supplements the same way they regulate medications. This means that the manufacturers do not have to prove that the supplements work before selling them on the market, although they are not allowed to make unsubstantiated claims about their weight loss products. 

Most weight loss supplements are marketed as “all-natural” and “safe” products. However, they may interfere with any medications you are on, causing negative side effects including reducing the efficacy of your medication. They may even contain harmful substances not written on the label that may be detrimental to your health. 

Such ingredients include prescription drugs or substances banned by the FDA, such as ephedra. Consumption of weight loss supplements is the major reason for over 23,000 people reporting to the emergency room in the United States each year due to side effects. Some supplements may cause serious adverse events such as heart failure, liver damage, or even death.

Hence, it is better to opt for traditional measures to lose weight through diet, exercise, and stress management. Consulting a professional may help, especially if you have any underlying health conditions that are contributing to your weight gain. If your doctor thinks you need medications to lose weight, they may prescribe FDA-approved drugs.


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What are possible side effects of weight loss supplements?

Side effects of weight loss supplements may vary depending on the ingredients used. Common side effects include: