Do weight loss supplements work?

Do weight loss supplements work or are they a waste of time? Find out if your magic pills are worth the money or if they are doing you and your wallet harm.

A new study has shown that no research evidence exists to show that any one weight loss supplement has significant weight-loss results. Some can even affect your health negatively.

The study looked at supplements which fell into four categories: products such as chitosan which block the absorption of fat or carbohydrates, stimulants such as caffeine or ephedra which boost metabolism, products such as conjugated linoleic acid which claim to change the body composition by decreasing fat and appetite suppressants such as soluble fibres.

It found that many of the product manufacturers had never conducted randomised trials, and where data had been collected the resultant weight loss was usually no greater than one or two kilograms.

A few products, such as green tea, wet fibre (such as cooked oatmeal), and low fat dairy supplements can have a small weight-loss benefit, but only when tested as part of a reduced calorie diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables and exercise. 

More information
The original study entitled Dietary supplements for improving body composition and reducing body weight: where is the evidence? can be found online.

And a comprehensive overview of the findings can be found in the Most weight loss supplements are not effective article on the Science Daily website.

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