Does the dietary supplement make you skinny?

A new study published in the journal Obesity has found that dietary supplements do not cause dramatic weight loss as they claim. In fact, it is rare for people taking these supplements to lose a significant amount of weight, research showed. Tempting claims, but are the products compliant? This is a popular supplement that contains chemicals found in a fatty acid called linoleic acid. It is claimed that it can help reduce body fat and help you stay full.

It comes from the powdered shells of shrimps, crabs and other shellfish. It supposedly binds to the fat in the foods you eat, preventing them from being digested. While there is evidence that it helps prevent you from absorbing fat from the diet, its effects may be too small for you to really notice anything. Small studies have shown that people on calorie-restricted diets lose a little more weight if they take chitosan.

Some weight-loss supplements have been found to contain hidden ingredients, such as prescription drugs, that can be harmful. Studies have been conducted on a particular type of natural fiber complex, called litramine, which has been shown in supplements to potentially help overweight or obese people lose weight. When my patients ask me about weight loss supplements, I explain that there is no good substitute for portion control and exercise. This fact sheet from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides information that should not replace medical advice.

Natural Medicines says bitter orange is possibly unsafe when taken orally as a supplement, and there isn't enough evidence to know if it works for weight loss. You may be surprised to learn that manufacturers of weight-loss supplements rarely conduct studies on people to find out if their product works and is safe. It recommends that consumers look for supplements that contain one of the two brand types of CLA, called Conalin and Clarinol. There doesn't seem to be any research linking magnesium supplement intake to weight loss, although you can see that claim made online.

However, supplements have negligible effects on the number of calories you burn or on the way you metabolize fat, and most don't have enough reliable scientific evidence to support them. Because it plays a role in muscle relaxation and nerve function, some sleep physicians recommend magnesium supplements to their patients to help them sleep more soundly. Manufacturers of dietary supplements rarely conduct human studies to determine if their product works and is safe. When the adoption of lifestyle modifications, such as having a healthy diet and exercising regularly, did not produce the desired results, people turned to dietary supplements or pills to lose weight.

Therefore, although a supplement alone will not melt the kilos, it can help ensure that vitamin and mineral deficiencies do not contribute to excess weight. Until data from such trials become more available, claims about dietary supplements and weight loss should be treated with caution. In the 1990s, ephedra was a popular ingredient in dietary supplements that were sold to lose weight and improve athletic performance.

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