12 Popular Weight Loss Pills And Supplements: There are numerous options for weight loss strategies available.
Some solutions, such as specific pills, medications, and natural supplements, are more well-liked than others.
These make the claim to aid in weight loss or, at the very least, to facilitate weight loss when used in conjunction with other strategies.
They frequently employ one or more of these methods to function:
- reducing hunger and increasing fullness to help you consume less calories
- limiting nutrient absorption, such as that of fat, causing you to consume less calories
- Increasing calorie burn while increasing fat burning
It’s crucial to remember that few of these treatments have any scientific foundation, and several may have negative health effects. Any dietary or supplement modifications should always be discussed with a doctor or qualified nutritionist.
Here are the 12 most popular weight loss products and medicines, reviewed by science, to help you distinguish between myths and truths.
Supplements and medications for weight loss
1. Garcinia cambogia extract
Garcinia cambogia became popular worldwide after being featured on “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2012.
It’s a small, green fruit shaped like a pumpkin. The fruit’s skin contains hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract, which is marketed as a diet pill.
How it works: Animal studies show that it can hinder a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase serotonin levels, potentially helping to reduce cravings.
Effectiveness: In one meta-analysis, researchers explored four electronic research databases to investigate the effectiveness of herbal medicines, including garcinia cambogia.
In a total of 54 randomized controlled trials in healthy adults with overweight or obesity, the authors found no difference in weight or body fat percentage between the garcinia cambogia group and the placebo group .
A 2020 review that looked at eight trials on garcinia cambogia found that, on average, it caused weight loss of about 3 pounds (1.34 kg) .
Although it is generally accepted that garcinia cambogia is safe to consume in the prescribed dosages, investigations conducted in the past few years have identified some significant negative effects.
In four cases, garcinia cambogia-containing weight loss products caused abrupt liver failure in women, according to a 2018 study.
Additionally, ingesting garcinia cambogia has been linked to hepatotoxicity, or liver impairment, and occasional episodes of psychosis.
Hydroxycut has been around for more than a decade and is one of the most popular weight loss supplements in the world.
The brand makes several products, but the most common is simply called “Hydroxycut.”
How it works: It contains several ingredients claiming to help with weight loss, including caffeine and a few plant extracts such as green coffee extract, which we’ll talk more about later.
Effectiveness: A 2011 meta-analysis of five clinical trials found that supplementation with C. canephora robusta, or green coffee extract, one of the key ingredients in Hydroxycut, led to about a 5.5-pound (2.47-kg) weight loss compared to the placebo .
Side effects: If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may experience anxiety, jitteriness, tremors, nausea, diarrhea, and irritability .
Hydroxycut products were removed from shelves as a result of cardiovascular risks in 2004 and hepatotoxicity in 2009 .
Acute liver injury has also been connected with using Hydroxycut supplements .
3. Green coffee bean extract
Green coffee beans are simply coffee beans that haven’t been roasted.
They contain two substances believed to help with weight loss: caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
How it works: Caffeine can increase fat burning, and chlorogenic acid can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
Effectiveness: Several human studies have shown that green coffee bean extract could help people lose weight .
A meta-analysis of all the current randomized control trials on green coffee bean extract’s effect on obesity found that the supplement has a significant impact on minimizing body mass index (14).
Other benefits: Green coffee bean extract may help lower blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure. It is also high in antioxidants.
Side effects: It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. The chlorogenic acid it contains may also cause diarrhea, and some people may be allergic to green coffee beans
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
It is found naturally in coffee, green tea, and dark chocolate and is added to many processed foods and beverages.
Because caffeine is thought to be a metabolism booster, companies commonly add it to commercial weight loss supplements.
How it works: One study discussed the effect of caffeine on regulating body weight by increasing energy expenditure — essentially meaning you burn more calories via increased fat breakdown as well as through a process of body heat production called thermogenesis.
Effectiveness: Some studies show that caffeine can cause modest weight loss in humans.
Side effects: In some people, high amounts of caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness, irritability, nausea, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Caffeine is also addictive and can reduce the quality of your sleep (24).
There is no need to take a supplement or a pill containing caffeine. The best sources are quality coffee and green tea, which also have antioxidants and other health benefits .
5. Orlistat (Alli)
Pharmaceutical orlistat is available over-the-counter as Alli and on prescription as Xenical.
How it works: By preventing your intestines from breaking down fat, this weight reduction supplement causes you to consume fewer calories from fat.
Effectiveness: According to a 2003 meta-analysis of trials, those who took orlistat for 12 months while also making lifestyle modifications lost 2.9 percent more weight than those who took a placebo.
Other advantages: When combined with lifestyle changes, orlistat has been demonstrated to slightly lower blood pressure and may lower the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
This medication’s numerous gastrointestinal adverse effects include loose, greasy stools, flatulence, and frequent, difficult-to-control bowel movements.
Additionally, it may contribute to a lack of fat-soluble vitamins such vitamins A, D, E, and K. (29).
To reduce side effects when taking orlistat, a low-fat diet is frequently advised. It’s interesting to note that orlistat plus a low-fat diet alone have been shown to be less successful than a low-carb diet alone.
Both diets were equally successful at helping people lose weight, but there were no appreciable variations in blood cholesterol and sugar levels . However, orlistat and a low-fat diet worked better together to decrease blood pressure.
6. Raspberry ketones
The chemical in raspberries called raspberry ketone is what gives them their distinctive aroma.
As a weight loss supplement, raspberry ketones are also available in synthetic form.
How it works: In isolated mouse fat cells, raspberry ketones promote fat breakdown and raise levels of adiponectin, a hormone thought to be connected to weight loss.
Effectiveness: There aren’t many research on raspberry ketones in people, but one from 2013 looked at them combined with several other components and discovered they may increase weight reduction by 2% over the course of 8 weeks when compared to a placebo (31).
One mouse trial that used extremely high doses revealed a little delay in weight increase.
High doses of raspberry ketones were linked to elevated blood sugar levels and ALT levels, a liver enzyme that indicates liver damage.
It is unknown if these consequences would apply to people. To ascertain any advantages and hazards, more study is required.
They might make your burps smell like raspberries as a side effect.
Elephant yam roots, often known as konjac, contain a form of fiber called glucomannan.
Glucomannan absorbs water and transforms into a gel-like substance. It “sits” in your stomach and encourages fullness, which helps you eat less calories.
Effectiveness: One clinical investigation found that taking glucomannan for 60 days helped reduce body weight in overweight persons, but only if they took the supplement consistently.
Glucomannan: is a fiber that can feed the good bacteria in the intestines, therefore it also has other advantages 12 Popular Weight Loss Pills. It also efficiently combats constipation and lowers blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Its side effects: include the possibility of bloating, gas, and soft stools. If taken concurrently with other oral drugs, it may also cause interactions.
It is crucial to consume glucomannan with a glass of water about 30 minutes before meals.
Meratrim is a relatively new diet drug on the market.
Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana, two plant extracts, together, may alter the metabolism of fat cells.
How it works: It makes fat cells less likely to proliferate, reduces the amount of fat they take in from the bloodstream, and aids in the burning of stored fat.
Effectiveness: Meratrim has been the subject of very few investigations. In one trial, 60 obese participants were given a rigorous 2,000-calorie diet, more exercise, and either Meratrim or a placebo.
The Meratrim group had reduced 11 pounds (5.2 kg) and 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) of waist circumference after 8 weeks.
Meratrim may have long-lasting effects on appetite suppression, according to another study (39).
Side effects: No side effects have been reported.
9. Green tea extract
Many weight loss products contain green tea extract, which is a popular ingredient. This is due to the fact that multiple studies have indicated that its primary antioxidant, 12 Popular Weight Loss Pills EGCG, may promote fat burning.
How it works: It is thought that green tea extract blocks certain enzymes like pancreatic lipase, which when combined with a decrease in fat absorption, can be a useful treatment for obesity.
Effectiveness: Numerous studies on humans have revealed that green tea extract, when combined with physical activity, can improve fat burning and result in fat loss, particularly in the abdominal region.
Green tea extract’s side effects: are typically well tolerated. It does contain some caffeine, and those who are sensitive to it may experience symptoms.
Additionally, all the health benefits of drinking green tea may also apply to green tea extract.
10. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
CLA has long been a well-liked vitamin for weight loss.
It is recognized as one of the “healthier” trans fats and is present in various fatty meals made from animals, such as cheese and butter.
How it works: CLA may reduce appetite, boost metabolism, and stimulate the breakdown of body fat .
Effectiveness: In a major review of 13 studies, researchers found that CLA caused weight loss of about 1.1 pounds (0.52 kg) compared with a placebo. This number increased to 2.3 pounds (1.05 kg) in people over age 44.
According to another review from 2012, CLA may make you lose about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg) compared with a placebo. The authors conclude by questioning the clinical relevance of CLA’s small effect on body weight .
Side effects: CLA can cause various digestive side effects and may have harmful effects over the long term, potentially contributing to fatty liver, insulin resistance, and increased.
It is believed that forskolin, an extract from a plant in the mint family, can help people lose weight.
How it works: It might increase cAMP levels in cells, which can boost fat burning.
Effectiveness: In a trial involving 30 obese or overweight males, forskolin enhanced muscle mass while having no effect on body weight 12 Popular Weight Loss Pills.
It also decreased body fat. Another trial that included 23 overweight women showed no impact.
Minimal information is available on the supplement’s safety or the possibility of negative effects.
12. Bitter orange/synephrine
Synephrine is a substance found in bitter oranges, a variety of orange.
Ephedrine, a former common constituent in many different weight loss pill formulations, is related to synephrine.
Ephedrine: has subsequently been prohibited by the FDA as a weight loss supplement due to its harmful side effects.
Synephrine: and ephedrine have comparable mechanisms of action, although synephrine is less powerful. It might lessen hunger and speed up fat burning.
Effectiveness: Ephedrine has been the subject of numerous studies, whereas very few have examined the effects of synephrine.
Synephrine may cause major negative effects: on the heart, similar to ephedrine. It could be addictive as well.
Prescription medications for weight loss
Additionally, several weight-loss medications on prescription have shown some promise. Contrave and Phentermine are the two most popular ones.
Even prescription weight loss drugs don’t work as effectively as you may think, claims a 2014 review.
In comparison to a placebo, they often assist you in losing between 3 and 9 percent of your body weight.
Remember that this only applies if you use the tablets along with a sensible weight-loss diet.
They are ineffectual on their own and probably won’t assist with obesity in the long run. They may have a wide range of negative side effects.
The bottom line
Of the 12 weight loss pills mentioned, the ones backed by the strongest evidence are:
- weight loss: glucomannan, CLA, and orlistat (Alli)
- increased fat burning: caffeine and green tea extract
However, due to its unpleasant side effects and due to CLA’s detrimental impact on metabolic health, many medical practitioners advise against using orlistat.
That just leaves caffeine, glucomannan, and green tea extract. Although the effects are at best moderate,12 Popular Weight Loss Pills some supplements can be beneficial.
And you don’t need to use supplements because you may find all three naturally in foods and beverages.
In the end, no diet medication or supplement really helps you lose weight. They might speed up your metabolism a little and aid in weight loss, but that’s about the extent of their effects.
The best strategies to lose weight are still figuring out what weight is healthy for you, concentrating on mindful eating.
Using safe calorie deficits, and increasing your physical activity. These techniques outperform all diet medications put together.