Losing weight is difficult, but several weight reduction pills claim to make the process easier. Unfortunately, a new study reveals that there is little high-quality evidence to back up these claims.
Weight Loss Supplements Can Harm Individuals In Long Run
Aggressive marketers, including green tea extract, chitosan, guar gum, and conjugated linoleic acid, are hawking hundreds of weight loss products. According to the study, an estimated 34% of Americans who wish to reduce weight have tried one.
The temptation is strong because someone has a megaphone, but individuals don’t need a celebrity endorsement and/or eye-catching headlines to teach them how to lose weight. When there’s anything to say, the medical establishment will say it loud and clear, according to research co-author Dr. Kidambi, who is an associate professor and chief of endocrinology and molecular medicine at the Wisconsin Medical College.
Researchers discovered 315 randomized-controlled studies, which are considered the highest standard in clinical research, to see if 14 weight reduction products and/or alternative therapies like acupuncture work as claimed. 52 of them were considered unlikely to be prejudiced. Only 16 trials found weight changes between those getting therapy and those in the placebo arm.
Weight reduction in these trials ranged from less than one pound to slightly under eleven pounds. Weight reduction was not seen consistently for anyone’s weight-loss method, and several trials produced contradictory results, with some seeing weight loss and others demonstrating no such benefit.
The research looked at chitosan, a complex sugar formed from the hard shells of shellfish; ephedra or caffeine; green tea; guar gum; the tropical fruit extract Garcinia cambogia; chocolate/cocoa; conjugated linoleic acid, a natural substance produced in the gut by fat digestion; white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris); and calcium plus vitamin D, among other things. Acupuncture, mindfulness, hypnosis, and meditation were among the alternative weight loss methods studied.
According to study co-author Dr. Scott Kahan, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C., the dietary supplement business is a Wild West of herbs and over-the-counter medications with a lot of claims and little to no data supporting those claims. People desire a miracle pill, but dietary supplements aren’t what they’re advertised to be.
Some activities have been shown to help individuals lose weight and keep it off, according to Kahan.
Dietitian support, nutrition education, and, in rare circumstances, medication or weight reduction surgery can all help with weight loss, he added.
The authors of the study released a statement advocating for stronger supplement regulation and additional high-quality studies to examine the dangers and benefits of weight reduction pills. The findings are published in the June 23 edition of Obesity.
Their findings follow another study that found weight loss pills to be mainly ineffective. That study was presented over a month ago at the European Congress on Obesity and published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Supplements are not regulated in the same way that medicines are in the United States, so there is no way to know if customers are getting what they pay for, according to Kidambi.
Most weight reduction pills are safe, but many make misleading claims, according to her. She noted that if supplements are used in favor of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and behavioral adjustments, they will hurt people in the long term.
Some pills offered online may include chemicals that are dangerous and illegal in the United States, according to Kidambi.
Weight reduction pills can also be costly, according to her.
Weight reduction pills should be purchased with caution, according to Dr. Louis Aronne, founder and head of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.
According to Aronne, who was not engaged in the new study, there is very little data proving that currently marketed supplements induce considerable weight reduction.
Consumers should be skeptical of items that claim to make weight reduction simple, and they should always consult with a health care practitioner for guidance on safe supplement usage and weight management programs.