Some people find it difficult to lose weight even after doing all the things they could. For them, weight loss supplements can make the process a bit easier given they are trying a number of strategies.
However, new research has found that weight loss supplements do not really work and are expensive.
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee looked at 315 existing studies that examined alternative weight loss therapies and supplements. The supplements contained vitamin D, calcium, garcinia, green tea, and the therapies like acupuncture, according to Newsweek.
The researchers, who published their findings last week in the journal Obesity, found that participants in 16 of the 315 studies had a change in their weight than those who were given a placebo, noting that they lost about 11 pounds, but this is still relatively small.
The team also found that these supplements were quite expensive, as were therapies like acupuncture, which can help other health issues but not weight loss.
Instead, these supplements and therapies can actually leave people worse off, said study co-author Dr. Srividya Kidambi, who is an associate professor and chief of the division of endocrinology and molecular medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
She said, “If supplements take the place of diet, regular exercise, and behavior changes, they will harm you in the long run.”
Another study co-author Dr. Scott Kahan said the weight loss supplement industry’s hold over the world is strong but there is not much research backing these claims.
“The dietary supplement industry is a Wild West of herbs and over-the-counter pills that have a lot of claims and little to no evidence supporting those claims,” he added. “We all want a magic pill, but dietary supplements aren’t the magic pills that they are marketed to be.”
For people who want to lose weight, Dr. Kahan recommends a more traditional approach, which includes “support from a dietitian, nutrition education and, in some cases, medication or weight loss surgery.”
Please note that you must consult your physician before using any weight loss supplements or making any changes to your diet and lifestyle. The article was published last week in Pop Sugar.