Life is getting increasingly busier, and the time to exercise may no longer be available for some people. As a result, unscrupulous manufacturers are creating pills and dubbing them as weight loss quick fixes. Most of these pills are categorized under dietary supplements. Current FDA regulations do not require the producers of these magic pills to prove their claims.

That means most of the weight loss supplements may not work as claimed.  In the following write-up, we explore some of the facts regarding weight loss supplements.

We try to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Fat Burners

Fat burners are the most popular ingredients in weight loss supplements on the market. The main components in fat burners include essential fats, stimulants derived from plants and hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

Stimulants include ephedrine and caffeine. Others may consist of ma huang and guarana. A few of these stimulants are put together with aspirin or other ingredients to promote fat burning and generate energy. The combination may work, but safety may be a significant concern.

A blend of aspirin and ephedra can stimulate weight loss to a certain level, according to experts. However, ephedra can cause stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Typically, ephedra and caffeine work by raising the resting metabolic rate. It is safer and cheaper to achieve the same effect by exercising.

The essential fatty acids such as flaxseed oil and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) are showing much promise in stimulating weight loss. Unfortunately, not all ingredients that contain CLA are safe.

Research also shows that other common components in fat burners such as pyruvate and chromium picolinate may not have any effect at all. HCA, on the other hand, may only work by suppressing appetite. It is a form of citric acid and buying the supplements containing HCA  as the major component may not make sense. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables will have a better effect.

Fat Trappers

Most weight loss supplements contain fat trappers in the form of chitosan. The fat trapper is in powder form from shellfish. Supposedly, it causes weight loss by binding to fat cells and preventing digestion.

To give credit where it’s due, chitosan prevents fat digestion. Unfortunately, its overall effect is too small to notice. Studies show that dieting has more impact on weight loss than the expensive fat trappers. Alternatively, you can get better results from dietary fiber, in which chitosan is a source of.

There are risks associated with dependence on fat trappers like chitosan.  Typically, the substances may stand in the way of your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

Your body may not be in a position to absorb essential nutrients such as Vitamin A and vitamin D.  It may also not be effective in getting the all-important phytochemicals obtained from vegetables and fruits and which help boost immunity.

Can Weight Loss supplements be harmful to my health?

Most of the components in these supplements are without scientific backing. There are no clinical trials indicating interaction with other medications that your doctor may prescribe. Provide information the weight loss supplements you are taking to the healthcare professionals to reduce risks associated with drug interaction.

As mentioned, certain ingredients such as ephedra can cause dangerous side effects. Insufficient clinical trials mean that the impact of some of the components is still unknown. As such, you may be consuming something with a hidden adverse effect on your health.

Typically, it is a lot safer and cheaper to maintain a healthy balanced diet and of course, exercise. As mentioned by the Health Review, health supplements if deemed safe to use should always be used with exercise to reap the true benefits.


The majority of weight loss supplements are not cheap. The claims they come with are not by scientific evidence. Much more studies are necessary.  Surprisingly, the effect of weight loss supplements may be too small and coupled with the associated risks; they are not worth it.

You can get more by maintaining a healthy balanced diet and exercising often. The weight loss supplements are not the magic bullet to shedding a few pounds as you relax on the couch. You will still need to work out and eat right. So, why not save your money and hit the gym while you take the correct food portions? It’ll be more comfortable and safer.


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