As of now, there are many different weight loss solutions out there. This includes all sorts of pills, drugs and natural food supplements that claims to help you lose weight, or at least make it easier to lose weight combined with other methods. They tend to work on different mechanics, like reducing your appetite, making you feel more full so that you eat fewer calories. It may also reduce absorption of nutrients like fat, making you take in fewer calories. And in some ways these drugs tend to increase fat burning, making you burn more calories.
Today we will focus on supplements. We have listed 5 of the most popular food supplements you will find on the market.
Hydroxycut has been around for more than a decade, and is currently one of the most popular weight loss supplements in the world.
There are several different types, but the most common one is simply called “Hydroxycut.” It contains several ingredients that are claimed to help with weight loss, including caffeine and a few plant extracts. One study showed that it caused 21 lbs (9.5 kg) of weight loss over a 3 month period (5).
Side Effects: If you are caffeine sensitive, you may experience anxiety, jitteriness, tremors, nausea, diarrhea and irritability.
Unfortunately, there is only one study on this supplement and no data on long-term effectiveness. More research is needed.
- Orlistat (Alli)
Orlistat is a pharmaceutical drug, sold over-the-counter under the name Alli, and under prescription as Xenical. This weight loss pill works by inhibiting the breakdown of fat in the gut, making you take in fewer calories from fat. According to a big review of 11 studies, Orlistat can increase weight loss by 6 pounds (2.7 kg) compared to a dummy pill (13).
Orlistat has been shown to reduce blood pressure slightly, and reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 37% in one study (14, 15).
Side Effects: This drug has many digestive side effects, including loose, oily stools, flatulence, frequent bowel movements that are hard to control, and others. It may also contribute to deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K.
It is usually recommended to follow a low-fat diet while taking orlistat, in order to minimize side effects. Interestingly, a low carb diet (without drugs) has been shown to be as effective as both orlistat and a low-fat diet combined (16).
Orlistat, also known as Alli or Xenical, can reduce the amount of fat you absorb from the diet and help you lose weight. It has many side effects, some of which are highly unpleasant.
- Raspberry Ketones
Raspberry ketone is a substance found in raspberries, which is responsible for their distinct smell. A synthetic version of raspberry ketones is sold as a weight loss supplement.
In isolated fat cells from rats, raspberry ketones increase breakdown of fat and increase levels of a hormone called adiponectin, believed to be related to weight loss (17). There is not a single study on raspberry ketones in humans, but one rat study using massive doses showed that they reduced weight gain (18).
Side Effects: They may cause your burps to smell like raspberries.
There is no evidence that raspberry ketones cause weight loss in humans, and the rat studies showing it to work used massive doses.
- Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a popular ingredient in many weight loss supplements.
This is because numerous studies have shown the main antioxidant in it, EGCG, to aid fat burning. Green tea extract is believed to increase the activity of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps you burn fat (33). Many human studies have shown that green tea extract can increase fat burning and cause fat loss, especially in the belly area (34, 35, 36, 37).
Side Effects: Green tea extract is generally well tolerated. It does contain some caffeine, and may cause symptoms in people who are caffeine sensitive.
Green tea and green tea extract can increase fat burning slightly, and may help you lose belly fat.
- Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee beans are simply normal coffee beans that haven’t been roasted.
They contain two substances believed to help with weight loss, caffeine and chlorogenic acid. Caffeine can increase fat burning, and chlorogenic acid can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut. Several human studies have shown that green coffee bean extract can help people lose weight (19, 20).
A review of 3 studies found that the supplement made people lose 5.4 more pounds (2.5 kg) than placebo, a dummy pill (21).
Other benefits: Green coffee bean extract may help lower blood sugar levels, and reduce blood pressure. It is also high in antioxidants (22, 23, 24, 25).
Side Effects: It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. The chlorogenic acid in it may also cause diarrhea, and some people may be allergic to green coffee beans (26).
Green coffee bean extract may cause modest weight loss, but keep in mind that many of the studies were industry sponsored.