The Effectiveness Of Weight Loss Supplements Among The Obese

2013-05-29 | |
Last updated: 2014-11-25

Weight loss supplements are big business. They are taken by a wide range of people, from fitness enthusiasts to those who are looking to lose a few pounds of weight ahead of bikini season. Although the marketing campaigns generally target these groups, it can be more difficult to gather information on how such supplement might work for those who are actually obese. If we can get beyond the marketing hype, the question arises as to what results do weight loss supplements realistically offer for those who could really use such help?

How Effective Are Caffeine And Ephedra Extracts For Weight Loss?

Caffeine and ephedra are some of the most popular weight loss supplements, as they are cheap and readily accessible. They are frequently recombined and rebranded as a “revolutionary new product”, sometimes with added ingredients. Regardless of any additional claims, these substances cause weight loss by raising the metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories. Unfortunately, this means that consuming these supplements come with side effects such as a racing heart, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure.

As an example, a University of California study found that obese women who received a combination of caffeine and ephedra lost 10 lbs or 4.5 kg more than those who took a placebo. However, the same study also found that the supplements caused insomnia, anxiety, and heart palpitations. As a consequence, people with heart conditions really should consult their doctor before consuming stimulants such as caffeine and ephedra.

Using Green Tea Extract To Lose Weight

Green tea extract has been popular for many years, both as a weight loss aid and as a general health supplement. As the population has collectively gained weight, it is not surprising that green tea’s weight loss potential has come under renewed scrutiny.

Studies do show potential for the natural extract to help with weight loss, but the size of this effect may not be large. We know that the chemicals in green tea extract help our body to burn fat more than the equivalent amount of caffeine alone, though researchers do not yet know exactly how. One study of obese Thai subjects by Khon Kaen University found that green tea extract increased the amount of weight loss by an average of 7 lbs or 3kg over 12 weeks. Another study, though, found that the supplement had absolutely no effect on weight loss.

While these results are not highly promising because the supplement may only have a negligible effect on weight loss, green tea and green tea extracts are still worth considering for the other health benefits, including high levels of antioxidants.

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Category: General Health

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