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Weight-loss supplements we bet you didn’t know about

Get to know the natural supplements most widely used to lose weight and what you should be on the lookout for.

Dra. Reina Lamardo
Friday, 20 December, 2013

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If you have overweight or obesity problems, you may have tried to figure out some way to drop those extra pounds fast. There are numerous natural products available in the market filled with promises to curb your appetite, to block fat absorption or to rev up your metabolism; keep in mind, though, magic belongs in fairy tales. The best thing to do is to change your lifestyle, eat healthy and work out regularly.

Weight-loss supplements you didn’t know about

1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid

It helps lose body fat and increase lean body mass. It is naturally found in small amounts in dairy products and red meat as well as in dietary supplements. It may have side effects, altering liver function and cholesterol levels.

2. Fiber Supplements

They help you feel fuller for a longer time, thus curbing your appetite. Bear in mind that if you are stepping up a notch and increasing your daily fiber intake, you should do it gradually and always drink plenty of water. Daily fiber requirements according to age and gender should not be overlooked, either. Some of the most widely used supplements are:

  • Psyllium
  • African Mango
  • Chitosan
  • Glucomannan

3. Green Tea Extract

Rich in antioxidants, green tea extract is an ally in the weight-loss battle due to its content of catechins, caffeine and theanine, since it increases resting energy consumption. Furthermore, it helps lower LDL cholesterol.

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4. Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)

It’s a derivative of citric acid, mainly extracted from the fruit known as Malabar tamarind or Garcinia cambogia. It could aid in weight loss thanks to the effects it has on metabolism, and its properties conducive to reduced fat absorption, appetite suppression and lower LDL cholesterol.

5. Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) hormone

This hormone is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and is used in fertility treatments. It could suppress appetite, stimulate the metabolism and reduce body fat. The key ingredient in the popular hCG diet plan is this very hormone, which you get as a shot (this treatment must be under a physician’s supervision) or as sublingual drops.

6. White Bean Extract or Phaseolus Vulgaris

It helps avoid carbohydrates from breaking down into sugars.

7. Hoodia

It has been suggested that it may help reduce appetite, although more evidence is needed.

8. Meal Replacements

Some of them, like cereal bars and smoothies only work if you are actually using them to replace meals.

What you should consider before buying a weight-loss supplement

Remember that most natural products are not FDA-regulated. So that you can make sure that the product you are shopping for has undergone quality control tests, look for dietary supplements carrying the US Pharmacopoeia (USP) stamp or the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) stamp.

You should always check with your doctor if weight-loss supplements are right for you. Those products with excessive caffeine levels may cause side effects (increased heart rate and blood pressure), so you’ll be better off avoiding them.

Sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, NYU Langone Medical Center.
Continue reading: 5 protein shakes recipes you must try

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