Fat Loss Supplements- The Good, The Bad, and The Dangerous

Every year Americans spend billions on fat loss supplements, but do they work and are they safe? Supplements can be downright dangerous. The supplement industry is unregulated meaning anyone can make, distribute, and sell supplements. There are no regulations to certify manufacturing standards and testing to certify the safety of supplements is not required. In fact, supplements are frequently found to contain dangerous substances and contaminants such as prescription drugs and heavy metals. Furthermore, some supplements marketed to have healthy benefits are downright dangerous even if not contaminated.

The Dangerous: Bitter Orange, Ephedra, Hoodia, Yohimbe, buckhorn, aloe, senna, and many, many more. The list goes on and on. There are more dangerous supplements than I can possibly list. Research has demonstrated bitter orange may cause a variety of side effects including cardiac toxicity. Ephedra may cause stroke, high blood pressure and serious heart problems. Hoodia may cause nausea, vomiting, and increased heart rate. Kidney and Liver damage are also possible with several supplements. I could keep going but you get the point-be real careful what you put in the body. The Bad: Some supplements simply don't work and cost a lot of money. In most cases you'd be better off flushing $20 down the toilet, in fact you may already be doing that. Here are a few popular supplements that don't do much other than empty your wallet. There is little evidence to demonstrate caffeine does anything for weight loss. It may be disguised as fancy sounding names such as guarana, yerba mate or kola nut but the result is the same- nothing. Garcinia cambogia recently became popular after being featured on a daytime health tv show. However, the research is clear- it does not help people lose weight. One study showed people ate less when taking the supplement, however it did not translate to weight loss. Save your money to buy that swampland in Florida. Raspberry ketones haven't even been tested for weight loss in humans. It's sold as a fat loss supplement because it helped a few mice prevent weight gain. It's considered safe in low levels as a food additive but has not been evaluated as a supplement in large doses of 100 mg or more. The Good: Ok, so does anything actually work? The answer: There may be a few supplements that help a little. Recent research suggests 7-keto DHEA may help obese people lose additional weight when combined with a reduced calorie diet. However, studies have been short term and more research is needed. We really don't know what most of these supplements do to the human body over the long run. Green coffee bean extract has demonstrated modest weight loss in short-term studies, but is again more research is needed and the supplement may affect blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Pyruvate and DHA, green tea, and chitosan may also help a little but again, evidence is limited and little to no long-term research exists.

The Bottom Line: Few supplements have been researched over a long period of time. We really don't know how they're affecting our long-term health. We often don't know what's really in a supplement, if it's safe, and we're not sure if it even works. In short- It's probably not worth it and there is no substitute for a solid exercise and nutrition plan. If you want to spend some money on your fitness and health it's probably much better spent on a qualified trainer and registered dietitian. At the end of the day you're not going to look like Jennifer Lawrence or Channing Tatem taking a pill...and let's be honest you're probably not going to look like one of them anyways. But if you work real hard, you might just look and feel like the best possible version of yourself- and that's pretty darn good! If you want more info call a registered dietitian or check outwww.consumerlab.comwhere you can find this and much more information.

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