With an overwhelming number of weight-loss supplements flooding the market today, it’s best to only use those supplements that have proved to be effective in a clinical setting; this way you will get the best results while conserving money and being safe. Among these clinically proven weight-loss supplements is green tea extract, psyllium husk, glucomannan, CLA and whey protein. There’s no magic bullet for losing weight. Doctors recommended weight loss supplements for you. The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating a healthy low-calorie diet and being more physically active.
Weight-loss pills — prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, herbal products or other dietary supplements — are all, at best, tools that may help with weight loss. But there is relatively little research about these products. The best studied of these are prescription weight-loss drugs.
For example, a 2016 study reviewed 28 long-term trials of prescription drugs for treating obesity. The researchers concluded that when a person makes appropriate lifestyle changes, a prescription weight-loss drug increases the likelihood of achieving “clinically meaningful” weight loss within a year.
Clinically meaningful weight loss means you’ve lost enough weight to lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. This is generally defined as 5 percent or more of body weight. It’s important to consider that weight loss achieved in a research setting may be greater than in actual practice. Also, possible side effects and adverse reactions to weight-loss pills can affect how well you might do.
It’s reasonable to expect that prescription weight-loss pills may be beneficial, but they won’t be magical. They don’t work for everyone, and the benefits may be modest. Researchers know much less about the potential benefits and risks of over-the-counter weight-loss products.
CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a type of fatty acid that naturally occurs in dietary sources but can also be supplemented. A 2012 double-blind placebo-controlled trial published in “Nutrition” tested 1.7 grams of CLA for 12 weeks on grade 1 obese Chinese subjects. The result was a lower rate of obesity in these subjects, with no apparent negative side effects.
Although whey protein may be most popular for its role as a muscle enhancing supplement, it may also be useful for reducing body fat, particularly when calories are restricted. A 2008 study published in “Nutrition and Metabolism” administered whey protein to subjects adhering to a 500-calorie reduced diet. The study found that subjects who were given whey protein lost significantly more body fat and retained more muscle tissue compared with a control group, which also adhered to a 500-calorie reduced diet.
Regulation of Weight-Loss Dietary Supplements
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements, including those promoted for weight loss . Like other dietary supplements, weight-loss supplements differ from over-the-counter or prescription medications in that the FDA does not classify them as drugs. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements do not require premarket review or approval by the FDA. Supplement manufacturers are responsible for determining that their products are safe and their label claims are truthful and not misleading.
If the FDA finds a supplement to be unsafe, it may take enforcement action to remove the product from the market or ask the manufacturer to recall the product. The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission can also take regulatory actions against manufacturers that make unsubstantiated weight-loss claims about their products. The FDA does not permit dietary supplements to contain pharmaceutical ingredients, and manufacturers may not promote dietary supplements to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease