Findings of a global study involving the effectiveness of weight loss supplements have been recently published by researchers.
No Evidence Showing Health Supplements Work For Weight Loss
Concluding two such reviews, there was not enough evidence to prove that supplements help in weight loss.
The conclusion was reached after analyzing the results of 121 pieces of research with 10,000 individuals.
Why are weight loss supplements important.
Obesity has increased threefold since 1975, according to data from World Health Organization.
There has also been a significant increase in the consumption of weight loss supplements.
Many of these supplements available in the market are not properly researched or produced using proper dietary standards.
According to official data, almost 15% of Americans have consumed these products at least once, making it a $140 billion industry in the USA.
The first of its kind review on h efficiency of supplements for weight loss was presented to the European Congress on Obesity by the University of Sydney in 19 years.
The research included 121 tests, participated by 10,000 individuals identified as obese.
The study could not yield any evidence of supplements being helpful to lose weight.
According to Erica Bessel, the chief researcher of the study, even the best assessment of data does not prove the efficiency of these supplements; although they might prove beneficial for a short time, evidence still remains scarce.
Regulation of the supplements.
It is important to note that we are looking at a variety of products like powders, liquids, or pills in the form of supplements that commit to induce weight loss in obese individuals.
These can be completely vegan, containing only plant-based ingredients or animal-based supplements including protein, fiber and fats.
Bessel is suggestive that although these supplements are readily available in any outlet, the lack of research and regulation does not ensure their standard before being marketed.
The issue lies in the fact that such regulation cannot be undertaken unless the product is available in the market.
The FDA can run a check on the products only after it is accessible to the consumers at the retail level.
As stated by FDA, there is no such rule that empowers the agency to run a standard check on the products to ensure they will meet the claims made to the consumers unless the product is available in the market.
Trials undertaken so far.
The first analysis of its kind included 54 trials involving 4331 individuals with reported obesity.
It studied the effects of placebo-controlled herbal supplements.
A loss of 5.5 pounds or more weight in terms of placebo was to be considered for the purpose of the study.
The products that undergone the tests include ephedra, which helps in stimulating metabolism, Garcinia Cambogia, white kidney bean, licorice root, African mango, yerba mate, Velde grape, mangosteen, and East Indian globe thistle.
Among all of these, only white kidney beans produced noticeable results, when used individually in terms of placebo.
However, the results could not be counted for clinical trials and data.
In the case of other supplements, results were seen when administered along with the other supplements, but the results were not significant enough for clinical recognition.
Supplements that showed some promise.
The other trial included 67 tests involving 5194 adults with the reported issues of obesity.
In this study, only naturally derived supplements were analyzed in terms of the placebo.
Among all the supplements used only, chitosan, linoleic acid, and glucomannan showed noticeable results in terms of the placebo.
Although they had statistical significance, the clinical significance was negligible.
According to experts like Bessel, extensive studies are iterative to assess the identification and usage of effective supplements for weight loss. Till then, choosing the right diet is the key to counter obesity.