Anyone who has ever dieted would agree that a safe quick fix or even an aid that would help support the ‘weight loss’ quest would be a gift! It’s tough enough to stay on track. Although nothing has yet surfaced that can qualify for that miraculous quick fix, here are six supplements that show promise in boosting weight loss.
Note: There has been a recent government crackdown on many supposed safe diet supplements. Some may have prescription drugs added and can be harmful. Too much caffeine, found in many of the weight loss supplements can cause irritability, insomnia, diarrhea and more. It is best to choose among relatively safe choices like those listed here. Remember individual reactions and allergic responses can occur. Always read the instructions and stay on the conservative side of the recommended dosage. Begin with a small amount until you have gauged your personal reaction.
This a fibre found in the konjac ‘elephant yam’ plant roots. It works by absorbing water and expanding into a gel that gives a feeling of fullness. There were a few studies in which glucomannan, when combined with a healthy food regime, helped people lose between 8-10 pounds in 5 weeks.
Other benefits from taking glucomannan are encouraging. It can help grow the good or friendly bacteria in the gut and has been shown to lower triglyceride levels, blood sugar and cholesterol.
Note: It is important to take glucomannan about half an hour before meals with a good glass of water.
Meratrim, combines two herbs that supposedly alter the metabolism of fat cells. These herbs are the flower- Sphaeranthus indices and the fruit- Garcinia mangostana. Meratrim claims to prevent fat cells from multiplying as well as help block fat from being stored. Only one study has been done with Meratrim where one group was given Meratrim in supplement form and the other group a placebo. The groups were put on a 2000 calorie per day diet. After 8 weeks the Meratrim group showed an 11 pound average weight loss and up to 4.7 inches of fat loss from their waistlines.
Other benefits can include reduced blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Note: this study was industry-based and further research is indicated.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee bean extract is made from regular raw coffee beans that are not roasted. The two components that can help with weight loss are caffeine and chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid works by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut and modulating both glucose and lipid metabolism. Several human trials have been carried out and all have illustrated that green coffee bean extract can act as an aide in losing weight. A review of three studies have shown an increase of a 5.4 pound reduction in weight in those who were taking the supplement over a placebo.
Other benefits may include a reduction in blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Note: Side effects are the same as increased amounts of caffeine.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a concentrated amount of green tea in a supplement and has long been touted as a weight loss aid. It contains the antioxidant component EGCG which aids in fat burning, especially in the belly area. It also is said to increase the hormone norepinephrine which also helps burn fat. Green tea has few side effects as it is a very common tea, consumed daily in many countries. Many human studies have been conducted showing its efficacy. It does contain a certain amount of natural caffeine but this is moderate.
Alpha Lipoic Acid in combination with EPA
Life Extension Magazine reported the results of a double blind trial that was conducted on overweight women. One group of women had been given a combination of two supplements-130 mg. of the Omega 3 fatty acid- EPA and 300 mg. of Alpha-lipoic acid, as well as a calorie-restricted diet. The other group were not given the supplements but were to told to follow the same reduced calorie diet. The group that was also taking the supplement-combo lost more weight than the group that wasn’t taking them. They also lost hip circumference and total fat mass. Further study was indicated but the results were encouraging.
EPA is a fatty acid derived from fish oil and also has added benefits for heart health. Alpha-lipoic-acid is an anti-oxidant found in several foods and has shown a benefit for nerve damage as well as diabetes. These supplements do show promise in boosting weight loss without compromising health. However, as mentioned above, be mindful of dosage and proceed with caution.
Have you tried any of the above supplements or is there a different one that worked for you? Please let me know in the comments below.