Weight Reduction Supplement Update:
When we originally reviewed our weight reduction supplements, we focused on those supplements that could help diminish appetite, and cut cravings. We did look at supplements that could increase metabolism, and thus discussed the use of Green Tea extract. However, many of you suggested that cravings are controllable, but low energy levels and inability to burn calories were a significant problem. That’s why we’ve been esearched safe ways of boosting energy and increasing the amount of calories burned.
We knew that we had to avoid ma huang, because it is just not safe. What we discovered was another supplement that has many of the thermogenic (fat burning) properties of ma huang, without the cardiovascular side effects. Citrus aurantium, also known as Bitter Orange, contains synephrine, which has similar fat burning properties as ma huang, but has fewer of the cardiovascular effects, and thus is much safer. Lab studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that this supplement posseses a safe thermogenic profile, and can help contribute to weight reduction.
The energy boost in Nutrislim Thermogenic comes from guarana, a very old and time honored supplement used to increase energy. Guarana contains caffeine, which provides a quick lift that can get you through low energy periods. This combination of Bitter Orange and Guarana is blended with supportive nutrients chromium, SuperCitrimax and Glucomannan. It is also formulated in a base of digestive enzymes and probiotics, to facilitate absorption.
The Epidemic Continues
Obesity is becoming an epidemic in our country; every year, statistics tell us that more and more Americans are crossing over the threshold to obesity. Not only is this a frightening fact for adults, but the number of children who are now classified as obese is also on the rise. The chronic diseases associated with obesity consume billions of health care dollars, with no end in sight.
Studies show that sudden death occurs 13 times more often in people who are overweight. The US Public Health Service reports that approximately 300,000 Americans die each year from obesity. This is the equivalent of having four commercial jets going down every day with no survivors!
Excess weight can also lead to osteoarthritis – inflammation of the joints that results in pain, swelling and joint grinding.
Cancers of the colon, rectum and prostate are prevalent among overweight men. Breast, uterine, ovarian, gall bladder, and bile duct cancers are found more commonly in overweight women.
Weight reduction is the goal of many Americans. Consequently, there is always a new diet or diet product that is being touted by some person, usually a Hollywood superstar, to help you reduce your weight. Usually, these are useless. Mostly, they are harmless. But in the case of the dietary supplement Ma Huang, or ephedra, the side effects can be devastating, and even deadly. Our scientific advisory board has called for the withdrawal of ephedra from the US market because of these safety concerns.
Herbs, Supplements & Other Weight Loss Products
Some people turn to their doctors. Many physicians have prescribed weight reduction medications, only to find out that they were associated with significant side effects. So what is one to do? There are a few natural aids to weight reduction that are completely safe and can be used with confidence.
How we evaluated these products
Samples of product were submitted to an independent testing lab to determine the percentage of product based on the label claim. These data are reported with our commentary.
How we chose products to test.
After review of the scientific literature, we chose only safe, natural products that had studies showing support for weight loss. Those products that met our criteria are listed in the overview.
How we developed our ranking.
We sought to rank order products based on the following criteria:
- Superiority of nutrient levels- this is based on the percentage of product actually contained in the sample tested.
- Expected overall effectiveness of the formulation. See explanation below.
- Safety-are there any safety concerns for the product, or the recommended dosage
- Value compared to other products
A total score was derived, and products ranked.
A word about overall effectiveness. Based on the available literature, we rank ordered nutrients based on expected efficacy. This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available information and our estimation of efficacy. Since 5-hydroxytryptophan had very strong (although small) studies in favor of weight loss, it was assigned the top score of 5 for expected efficacy. Green tea extract was given a score of 4.5, the combination of chromium and hydroxycitric acid 4, products containing only chromium or hydroxycitric acid 3.5, and fiber 3.0. While a product may have an excellent analysis, if the literature did not support its use in weight loss it was given a lower score. For example, both fiber products tested had excellent lab analysis; however, because they are generally less effective as weight loss agents by themselves, they are given a lower score.
As you may gather, while each of these products alone has merit, none is the perfect supplement. It may be that a combination of two or more, or even all of them combined, could turn out to have the greatest benefit in helping people reduce their weight.
Products in Review
In this review of weight loss products, we highlight some of these products, and go the extra step to analyze those products we carry on our website.
Green tea extract is one of the most promising weight reduction agents to come along in some time. Recent studies have shown that green tea extract standardized to 90 mg of epigallocatechin gallate can increase the 24 hour energy expenditure in human subjects. It is thought to do this by inhibiting the enzyme that causes the breakdown of norepinephrine, thus causing an increase in the metabolic rate. It has also been shown to increase the rate of brown fat metabolism. Both of these effects are unrelated to the caffeine content.
Fiber is an important adjunct to weight reduction programs. When taken before a meal, it has the effect of causing a full feeling, thus curbing appetite. Additionally, psyllium based-fibers that are taken before a meal can help lower cholesterol levels. One specific type of fiber, glucomannan, has the ability to absorb water and swell to 50 times its original volume, again creating a full feeling. Some studies have also reported improved glucose control and decreased cholesterol from glucomannan.
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit that contains hydroxycitric acid, which in animal studies has been shown to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. It is though to suppress appetite and may interfere with the body’s ability to produce and store fat. It is completely natural and safe, and no significant side effects have been reported. It has had limited use in human clinical trials, with mixed results. It is becoming an increasingly popular weight reduction supplement.
Chromium, in the forms of picolinate and polynicotinate, has also been shown in some studies to be beneficial for weight loss. It helps modulate blood sugar levels, and also may preserve lean muscle mass. It has also become very popular for weight reduction.
Finally, 5-hydroxytryptophan (HTP) is a serotonin precursor with some antidepressant activity which has been shown in several small studies to promote weight loss. It has been studied in diabetic and non-diabetic patients, and promotes a feeling of fullness and cuts down on sugar cravings. It reduced both total calorie and carbohydrate intake in obese patients. 5-Hydroxytryptophan should not be taken at the same time as antidepressants, as side effects due to excess serotonin may occur.
Conclusions and recommendations
There are safe and natural alternatives to dangerous prescription diet medications (like phen-fen) and hazardous over the counter supplements (such as ma huang). The supplements listed above are all safe (in the appropriately recommended dosages) and can help assist one in achieving their goal of weight reduction. Although none of these alone is ideal, the combination of these products may yield greater results then the individual. We cannot stress enough the importance of a healthy diet, adequate water intake, exercise, and appropriate nutritional supplementation.
Resources & Further Reading: