Do Weight Loss Supplements Really Work?
by Valerie de Armas
What do you think of the hundreds of weight loss supplements on the shelves today?
Are they really worth the money... Will they actually help you lose weight?
How do you know which ones are going to work for you? Is there any proof these products work?
I've taken some time and researched some of the most popular products, to try to find the answers for you. The truth is, most products won't help you lose anything but money. However, there are a few, with some research behind them, that prove they actually do work.
Which weight loss supplements really work?
It seems that only four products hold the best promise for those of us wanting to slim down... They are Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Hydroxycitic Acid (HCA), phaseolomine, and possibly 5-HTP.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid, CLA, has a number of research studies behind it. It is a fatty acid that has been found to reduce cancer risks, body fat and to increase lean muscle tissue. The Journal of Nutrition reported a Scandinavian Research team found CLA to increase the lean body mass of humans and also to decrease the fat mass. Subjects also had lower blood fat and cholesterol after taking CLA. CLA does occur naturally in meat and dairy products, but the levels are pretty low. Also, if you're following a healthy low-fat diet, you tend to not get as much meat and dairy, so supplementation may be the answer for getting a healthy dose of CLA.
- Hydroxycitic Acid, HCA, is derived from a fruit, Garcinia cambogia or Malabar tamarind. It seems to work by inhibiting an enzyme that converts carbohydrates to fat. It also seems to suppress the appetite. Studies on humans have had mixed results with one study showing significant weight loss in participants. Another study using a high fiber diet, showed HCA had no effect on weight loss. Critics think the high fiber diet prevented absorption of the HCA. So, if you're on a high fiber diet, HCA may not be for you.
- Phaseolomine is derived from the white kidney bean. It works by reducing your body's absorption of starchy carbohydrates. Since you absorb fewer calories, you lose weight. Seems like this supplement would be great to take if you knew you were going to indulge. Research has also shown that you burn more fat while taking phaseolomine. Subjects in one study lost 10% of their body fat in 30 days. Phaseolomine is typically found in carb-blocker products.
- 5-HTP works by increasing the level of Serotonin in the brain resulting in more stable emotions, better sleep and weight loss. I take 5-HTP myself and have found it to be an excellent appetite suppressant as well as a mild mood booster. In one study where women were given either a placebo or 5HTP and a 1200 calorie diet, those who took the placebo lost 2.28 pounds and those who took 5-HTP lost 10.34 pounds. This was accomplished in 6 weeks!
Are there other supplements that work?
There may be others that can stand the test of time and research... But for now, these are the best nonprescription supplements I've found to enhance your weight loss efforts.
Good luck losing the weight you want to lose!
About the author: Valerie de Armas is editor of Best Weight Loss Tips, a twice monthly free newsletter that encourages healthy weight loss.