Safely Lower Your Weight With These Natural Weight Loss Supplements
Obesity is a growing problem in most developed countries which results in a significant amount of disabilities and even death. The efficacy of conventional medicines being used to treat obesity is limited necessitating alternative therapies for weight loss which include lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, herbal medications and dietary supplements. 1
Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss
Numerous studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of the different natural and synthetic supplements that are available for weight loss treatment.
Usnic acid is one of the substances that have been used worldwide for various purposes. In the United States it has been marketed as a dietary supplement to aid in weight loss. However, its safety was questionable and hence further research is being conducted for proving its safe use. 2
Chitosan, when used as a dietary supplement was reported to decrease body weight in many studies. A significant amount of weight loss along with a decrease in total cholesterol and blood pressure were also noted in some studies. Further trials are being conducted to emphasize its safety and efficacy. Chitosan has the ability to precipitate fat and is being promoted for its ability to bind fat in the intestines so that it is not absorbed. 3
Green tea has been considered as the fourth most commonly used dietary supplement in the US. Some studies have questioned its safety while others have promoted its use. Green tea is said to be rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances which have been shown to reduce the cholesterol levels as well as reduction of body fat. More number of detailed studies is required to prove these effects. 4, 5
Certain soyfoods have been implicated to have multiple benefits such as improvement in weight, fat loss and cardiovascular health. Overall, the current data available suggests that soyfoods are equally good for promoting weight loss when compared to other protein products. It has also been proposed that soyfoods may have additional benefits. 6
Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are another substance which is supposed to exert numerous positive effects on health of an individual along with reducing body fats. Other fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) along with CLA have been said to influence the body activities and reduce body weight and/or fat deposition. The safety of these products need to be proven based on further studies. 7, 8
Other herbal supplements that are being promoted as weight loss supplements include Garcinia cambogia, and Citrus aurantium. Garcinia has been considered as a safe, natural supplement for weight management. It has a positive effect on the fat utilisation and was noted to decrease the body weight and BMI to a notable extent. No significant adverse effects were reported in the study.
Ephedra when combined with caffeine has also been shown to be quite effective in promoting weight loss; however its safety is questionable. 9, 10
Pyruvate is another supplement that has consistently shown positive weight loss effects across numerous studies. 11
Confused? One of the best natural weight loss supplements is a Weight Management package manufactured by HerbaLife.
1. Cherniack EP. Potential applications for alternative medicine to treat obesity in an aging population. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):34-42.
2. Guo L, Shi Q, Fang JL, Mei N, et al. Review of usnic acid and Usnea barbata toxicity. J Environ Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2008;26(4):317-38.
3. (Jull AB, Ni Mhurchu C, Bennett DA, et al. Chitosan for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD003892. ).
4. Basu A, Lucas EA. Mechanisms and effects of green tea on cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev. 2007 Aug;65(8 Pt 1):361-75.
5. Sarma DN, Barrett ML, Chavez ML, et al. Safety of green tea extracts : a systematic review by the US Pharmacopeia. Drug Saf. 2008;31(6):469-84.
6. Cope MB, Erdman JW Jr, Allison DB. The potential role of soyfoods in weight and adiposity reduction: an evidence-based review. Obes Rev. 2008 May;9(3):219-35.
7. Fischer-Posovszky P, Kukulus V, Wabitsch M. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) and their relevance in the reduction of body fat. A critical review of the currently available data. MMW Fortschr Med. 2008 Jan 17;149 Suppl 4:128-31.
8. Li JJ, Huang CJ, Xie D. Anti-obesity effects of conjugated linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Jun;52(6):631-45.
9. Heber D. Herbal preparations for obesity: are they useful? Prim Care. 2003 Jun;30(2):441-63.
10. Preuss HG, Rao CV, Garis R, et al. An overview of the safety and efficacy of a novel, natural(-)-hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX) for weight management. J Med. 2004;35(1-6):33-48.
11. Lenz TL, Hamilton WR. Supplemental products used for weight loss. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2004;44(1):59-67.
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