These 14 diet supplements for weight loss won’t help, new research shows

Losing weight is not an easy endeavor. The difficulties associated with losing weight lead many people to try alternative methods of losing weight. Taking supplements or relying on alternative therapies that are supposed to make it easier to lose weight sound very tempting. The only problem with that? According to a new study, some just don’t work. New research published in the journal Obesity on June 23, 2021 shows that many popular diet supplements and therapies for weight loss are of little help. To arrive at this conclusion, researchers from Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice conducted a systematic Review of 315 randomized controlled trials which aimed to determine the relative effectiveness of alternative therapies and various dietary supplements for weight loss.

The study explains which nutritional supplements do not help you lose weight

Among these studies were found only in 16 cases Differences between the weight of the control group and those who had lost weight with dietary supplements or alternative therapies; for those who had lost weight with supplements or alternative therapies, the weight loss was between 450 grams and 5 kilograms.

Among the investigated nutritional supplements and therapies that turned out to be proven to be little effective for weight loss, included:

• acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice in which small needles, with or without electrical stimulation, are placed at various points on the body to regulate physiological functions and treat a variety of ailments.

• Calcium + vitamin D combination preparations are said to regulate fat cell metabolism and triglyceride storage, improve metabolic health and reduce body weight.

Diet supplements for weight loss alone will not help

• Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide extracted from the shells of crustaceans. It is used in weight loss for its ability to bind to lipids and reduce their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

• Chocolate / cocoa contains significant amounts of bioactive compounds, including antioxidant polyphenols and methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine), which are believed to promote weight loss.

• chrome – It is believed that the non-essential biometal plays a role in glucose, lipid and amino acid metabolism.

• Ephedra / caffeine – The main active ingredient of the Ephedra sinica plant for weight loss is ephedrine, which is often taken in conjunction with caffeine. Its proposed mechanism of action for weight loss is that it improves metabolism and promotes a fat burning metabolic state.

• Garcinia and / or Hydroxycitrate – Garcinia is a plant native to India and Southeast Asia whose bark contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is said to affect appetite by blocking fat storage and preventing ATP citralyase.

Green tea for weight loss

• Green tea contains caffeine, which is believed to help suppress appetite and stimulate thermogenesis.

• Guar Gum (Guar Gum) is a fiber obtained from the seeds of the Cyamopsis tetragonolobus plant and is used as an emulsifier and thickener in some foods, especially baked goods. It is said to promote weight loss by acting as a bulking agent in the intestines, delaying gastric emptying, and increasing satiety.

• conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring omega-6 fatty acid derivative of linoleic acid, which is typically found in dairy and meat products. Studies based on the animal model have shown positive benefits including diabetes management, improved immune system, reduction in atherosclerosis biomarkers, and changes in body composition namely reduced body fat mass and increased lean body fat.

meditation can help you lose weight

• Mind-body therapies – The strategies that were evaluated for weight loss effectiveness included behavioral therapies (e.g. mindfulness, stress management), hypnosis, meditation, and massage.

• Phaseolus – Phaseolus vulgaris is extracted from the white kidney bean and is said to inhibit the activity of alpha-amylase, which affects the absorption of carbohydrates.

• Phenylporpylamine has a similar structure to amphetamine and ephedrine and can act as an appetite suppressant.

• pyruvate is a product of glycolysis, the first step in the breakdown of glucose for energy production, and an important intermediate product of several metabolic pathways in the cell. It is believed that pyruvate aids fat metabolism by reversibly converting it to phosphoenolpyruvate and increasing glucose uptake by skeletal muscles, which can lead to weight loss.

Dietary supplements and therapies that have proven to be ineffective for weight loss

“The dietary supplement industry is a wild west of herbs and over-the-counter pills that have a lot of claims and little to no evidence to back them up,” said study co-author Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington opposite US News. “We all want one magic pill to melt pounds off, but nutritional supplements are not. “

In addition to the fact that they don’t promote weight loss, study author Srividya Kidambi, MD, MS, professor and director of the Department of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin / Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, cautioned against using these supplements and therapies can harm in the long run, when they take the place of diet, regular exercise and behavioral changes.

She also pointed out that some dietary supplements bought through online retailers may contain ingredients that are not approved in all countries and harmful to consumers could be. The study authors requested one stricter regulation of dietary supplements and higher quality studies evaluating the risks and benefits of weight loss supplements.


Obesity (23 June 2021); A Systematic Review of Dietary Supplements and Alternative Therapies for Weight Loss