Diet Pills with Tape Measure

Can Supplements Help You Lose Weight?

Losing weight is hard to do, so it’s no wonder that many of us turn to supplements hoping for a helping hand.

Weight loss supplements claim they can help us:

  • Lose weight quicker
  • Not be hungry
  • Burn more fat
  • Have a smaller appetite
  • Not absorb all the carbs, or fat, that we eat
  • Speed up metabolism

To help cut the confusion, the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health has produced reports to help people understand what is known about the effectiveness and safety of ingredients commonly found in dietary supplements promoted for weight loss.

"Americans spend over $2 billion a year on dietary supplements promoted for weight loss, but there's little evidence they actually work," said Anne L. Thurn, Ph.D., director of the ODS Communications Program.

"And people may not know that many manufacturers of weight-loss supplements don't conduct studies in humans to find out whether their product works and is safe."

This fact sheet covers 24 ingredients found in these products, including African mango, beta-glucans, chromium, garcinia, green tea, hoodia, and raspberry ketones.

Chromium, for example, might help you lose a very small amount of weight and body fat, and is safe, but raspberry ketones haven't been studied enough to know whether they're safe or effective.

And while drinking green tea is safe, taking green-tea extract pills has been linked to liver damage in some people.

You can get the factsheet here

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