This study was one of the most rigorous scientifically credible tests of weight loss supplements to date and included common ingredients such as L-carnitine, polyglucosamine, cabbage powder, guarana seed powder, bean extract, Konjac extract, fiber, sodium alginate, chitosan and certain plant extracts either alone or in combination. You hear the commercial on television, you see the ads in the magazines and you see your favorite celebrity or athlete endorsing the product or book- but when you tried it you really didn’t see much in the way of weight loss. Xenadrine– was cited for a study that were far too small (only 47 participants) and far too short a duration (6 weeks) to be clinically credible.
LeptiCore -The material used to market their weight loss product cited a study that followed 62 participants that supposedly reported losing weight, body fat, a reduction in waist size and lowering of their cholesterol, however one of the authors appeared to be a chief scientific officer of a dietary supplement company, and was listed as the inventor of a weight loss supplement whose patent was held by the very same company that he was employed by.
Unlike the far stricter laws applied in Europe and in Canada, manufacturers of dietary supplements here in the United States are not required to conduct any trials to establish the safety or efficacy of their products.
Factor in as well that weight loss supplement companies created for the sole purpose of turning a profit are not always honest and forthcoming about the safety of their products. As mentioned earlier, Hydroxycut, was the number one weight loss product in its market selling just about a million bottles a year was recently pulled from shelves after 23 cases of liver damage and one death and it took only a few months before they were back on the shelves with a ‘new and improved’ formula. Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training 10 Minute Workouts™ and one of the most sought after personal trainers in Manhattan. Not surprisingly 15% of the American population uses dietary supplements for weight loss  yet in spite of the wide variety of products that purport to induce weight loss, the most one common aspect that they share is their abysmal failure rate.
Regardless of the widespread and ever present promotion of non prescription diet aids that are supposed to do miraculous things like stop fat absorption from your foods, block carbohydrates and increase your metabolism, the truth is that weight loss supplements will not bring about long term weight loss. A German study presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm had 189 either obese or overweight middle aged men and women participate in a weight loss program for eight weeks using nine of the major weight loss products on the market.
What we can infer from this study is that weight loss supplements are effective in helping you lose money- not weight. There are two reasons- one is if you are overweight and suffer everyday from the type of negative body image than can be associated with being obese you desperately want to believe that it will work.
In spite of this, Hydroxycut was withdrawn from the market in 2010 after being linked to 23 cases of liver toxicity and one fatality. Again there were no financial conflict of interest disclosures or evidence that funding for the studies were not received by the supplement manufacturers themselves. All that is required is that a copy of their label is sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review[6,7,8]. What this means to you the consumer is that you become a lab rat in the post marketing trial of every weight loss product’s safety. The manufacturers of the weight loss supplement, Metabolife 356 withheld over 14, 000 reports they received over a 5 year period that documented serious side effects associated with their weight loss supplement product which contained ephedra, including myocardial infarction, stroke, seizure and death. That’s how the industry operates- when one ingredient (in this case Garcinia cambogia) is found to be responsible for the sickness and or death of several members of the public, the product is simply reformulated with something else. No magic exercises or magic foods or harmless pills or powders that will help you lose weight. The use of LeptiCore in reducing fat gain and managing weight loss in patients with metabolic syndrome. Hepatoxicity associated with weight-loss supplements: a case for better post-marketing surveillance. Weight loss is of critical importance to many people, but consumers often lack the information necessary to make informed decisions about the use of potentially harmful products like weight loss supplements. Half were given commercially available weight loss supplements and the other half took a sugar pill.
Simple- weight loss claims by supplement companies, programs and products are not regulated and their claims do not have to be proven by clinical trials 4.
Lawsuits and other fines from people injured by their products are part of the cost of running their business and is a small drop in the bucket compared to the profits from their weight loss supplements. My stance against weight loss supplements is one that is seldom shared by other athletes on the payroll of companies in the industry, but it is one that will never waver. In twenty three years in the weight loss business I have yet to see a weight loss supplement help anyone achieve and sustain their ideal bodyweight. At the end of the eight week period researchers found that the weight loss supplements were no more effective than the placebo pills.
That’s correct; in one of the most developed countries in the world there are no laws that demand truth in advertising when it comes to weight loss supplements or any weight loss product for that matter. The ads work by highlighting young men and women that are in phenomenal shape- which makes someone that is overweight even more self conscious and creates a strong awareness of their problem. Sustainability is a word often associated with our interaction with the environment, but it is time that it is used more frequently with regards to how we approach diet and exercise. Back in the days when dangerous drugs like ephedra were included in weight loss stacks people did see a temporary reduction in their bodyweight while from the use of a powerful and (we know now) potentially deadly drug. Unfortunately the minor snag that the products don’t really work and that the ads are a bit far from the truth doesn’t stop us from spending 1.6 billion dollars on weight loss supplements each year!
Thus you are far more apt to believe that the supplement that you are buying really will help you lose weight. You can’t take a weight loss supplement for the rest of your life, nor can you follow an extreme diet or workout for any significant period of time. Don’t be mislead by the temporary weight loss some of these methods may bring about- as any decrease in weight (if any at all) won’t be sustainable. The other reason why people keep on buying is that weight loss companies always have a steady stream of ‘new and improved’ products coming out, and with them come the growing hope that this new breakthrough formula will be the one that finally helps you lose the weight and keep it off- but it won’t. It isn’t easy- if it was we wouldn’t have obesity as a national epidemic, but staying away from weight loss supplements and their instant-weight-loss-cousins gives you a better chance of doing it the right way.
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