The Safety and Efficacy of Diet Supplements

Most diet supplements available in the market promise to be as fat burners and craving reducer. However, a leading nutrition expert from the U.S. has warned that there is no enough evidence to support such claims.

Oregon State University Professor Melinda Manore analyzed research to support claims of hundreds of diet pills. She found zero evidence that any single product did magic or gave significant help to lose weight and even found that some had harmful health effects.

Manore said that people want to lose weight at the same time maintain or increase lean tissue mass. She stressed that not even one supplement does what people want. She added that some have side effects from bloating to very serious heart problems.

Prof. Manore categorized supplements into four categories, one that block absorption of fat or carbohydrates which can be found in products such as chitosan (found in shellfish), one that increase metabolism found in stimulants such as caffeine, one that change the body composition which can be found on products such as conjugated linoleic acid and one that suppress appetite found in soluble fibers.

She discovered that several of these products had no randomized clinical trials that examine their effectiveness and most showed less than a two-pound weight loss benefit than the placebo groups. She added that most research study excluded exercise. Manore wonders why exercise was not included in the equation.

Manore pointed out that exercise is crucial in losing weight and preserving muscle mass while keeping the weight off.

Some products were found to have a modest weight loss benefit of 3-4 pounds such as green tea and low-fat dairy supplements but most of these supplements were tested as part of a reduced calorie diet.

Manore said that there is no supplement that could help people to lose weight unless incorporating it with daily exercise and proper diet.

The professor said that the key to weight loss is to eat whole fruits, grains, vegetables and lean meats as well as exercise and reduce calorie intake of high-fat foods. She added that additional calcium, fiber, protein intake can help lose weight as well as green tea drinking. However, she clarified that none of these will have much effect unless coupled with exercising and eating fruits and vegetables. (c) 2012

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