Many people would like to lose weight but there are not many effective prescription weight loss pills. Those that are available also have serious side effects. Surgery for weight loss is expensive and associated with life-threatening complications.
For this reason, many consumers have been turning towards the health supplement industry for a magical weight loss product.
There are hundreds of weight loss supplements available in food stores and pharmacies that can be obtained without a prescription. Almost on a daily basis newer health supplements are advertised online but the question is, do they work?
Now a researcher from Oregon State University has reviewed the currently available weight loss supplements. The news is as predicted: there is no magic supplement and there is no health product that can help people lose weight.
Melinda Manore looked at the available evidence on hundreds of weight loss supplements and found that there is no clinical evidence for a single health supplement that has been claimed by manufacturers to promote weight loss. Worse, what she observed was that many of these health supplements had adverse effects.(1)
The billion dollar health supplement industry is completely unregulated and frequently makes exaggerated assertions. Many claims made by the manufacturers have never been clinically verified and even the same product sold in different stores varies in both quality and quantity. (2)
Manore specifically looked at the four top health supplements that are widely claimed to help consumers lose weight. She looked at:
1)chitosan that is said to inhibit absorption of fat and carbohydrates
2) stimulants like ephedra and caffeine that are said to increase metabolism
3) conjugated unsaturated fatty acids that are said to alter body composition by lowering fat content
4) appetite suppressants like soluble fiber
The investigation revealed that for most supplements, there were no randomized clinical trials that had evaluated the effectiveness of the product.
Moreover, she observed that the weight loss for most for these health supplements was similar to that obtained from a placebo.