There are many types of weight loss supplements found in markets.

Some over the counter drugs are also using for weight loss. Weight loss supplements still have some myth. Some people think they can eat anything if they are taking weight loss supplements. Some thinks these supplements don’t even work.


A weight loss supplements are usually ingested to reduce weight. All products contain some chemical food compound either singly or in combination.


A weight loss supplement helps to reduce weight by main three mechanisms-

  1. By decreasing appetite
  2. By decreasing digestion and absorption of fat and food in gastro-intestinal tract
  3. By increasing calorie expenditure by increasing metabolic activity of body


Weight loss supplements that found in markets usually contain following compounds-


  1. Dietary fibers:

Dietary fibers, such as bran or psyllium, help you by

  • Feeling of satiety by slowing the stomach emptying
  • Reducing your total food or calorie intake
  • It has other medical importance such as reduce blotting, abdominal disturbance etc.

Take dietary fiber with plenty of water to prevent constipation. It has minimum side effects like gastrointestinal upset.

It founds in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes etc. and now in a container as a weight loss supplement.


  1. Green tea extracts:

Green tea is a commonly used weight reduction supplement. But the truth is there is no recognized study on it. Some experts say that some components of green tea like Catechins, Caffeine and Theanine has effect on weight loss by-

  • Exciting all the cells of body
  • Increasing molecular activity ang calirie consumption
  • But caffeine extracted green tea, found in market, is less effective

It has minimum side effects. But taking in high amount may cause liver injury. ( )

It is manufactured by different companies worldwide.


  1. Meal replacements:

Many meal replacements are found as a bar or snacks. It is one of the best way to reduce weight. You can measure your calorie requirement and calorie intake. Most of the meal replacement supplements contain all types of food ingredients you need.


  1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):

Conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid, which is found in small amount in dairy products and red meat, reduces weight by-

  • Decreasing food intake by reducing appetite
  • Increasing energy expenditure
  • Decreasing pre-fat cell development, blocking of fat cell proliferation and increased fat burning.

But it increases cholesterol level and may cause cardiac problems. It also found as individually or with combined preparation.


  1. Bitter orange ingredient containing supplements:

Bitter orange contains synephrine which is similar to ephidrine (the primary active ingredient in ephedra; which was banned by FDA). But synephidrine also causes arrhythmia and rise blood pressure. So, synephidrine containing suplement should be avoided.


  1. African herb Hoodia:

Some companies branding African herb hoodia is a weight loss supplements but has no human study. Researchers found that its chemical compound P57 may inhibit hunger centre. So can give a try but should not be used by a pregnant or lactating mother.


  1. Over the counter drugs-


Orlistat is a very effective drug to weight loss. It helps you to boost your efforts, like exercise or weight reducing diet plan, for weight loss. It acts by-

-reducing intestinal fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase.

It has few side effects as- Loose stools, oily spotting, frequent or hard-to-control bowel movements, rare risk of liver injury etc.

But is FDA approved it as a safe wet loss over the counter drug.


  1. Some other drugs such as Medtgormin, Lorcaserin, Sibutramine, Rimonabant, Exenatide are used to reduce weight. But has some side effects and you should not use them without a prescription of your doctor.


  1. Some other supplements such as- Chitosan, Chromium, Guar gum etc also found in market in different branding and compositions. But they are probably ineffective. ( )


So, what should you do?

You can use a weight loss supplement. Because some of them are beneficiary. But use them by-

- Choosing right one. If you are confused please consult with a doctor or nutrition specialist

- Taking it in proper amount

- Never discontinue your exercise and balanced diet habit. Without this, supplements have very minimum value to reduce your weight.


At last, choose quality products. Because majority of weight loss supplements are sold as diet supplements which are not regulated by the FDA.


Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

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